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Film Review: ‘Escape Plan’

Schwarzenegger and Stallone model pinstripes in Escape Plan.

Two and a half stars

Escape Plan Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel. Directed by Mikael Håfström. Rated R. Opens Friday.

Twenty-five years ago, an action movie teaming Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger as a pair of inmates trying to break out of the world’s most secure prison would have been the box office event of the year.

But waiting until 2013 for the two tough-guy icons to finally team up (not counting Schwarzenegger’s cameos in the Expendables movies) has deflated much of the appeal, and Escape Plan is less Al Pacino and Robert De Niro in Heat, more Pacino and De Niro in Righteous Kill.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have its charms, but they’re fairly minimal, and Stallone in particular seems to be trudging through his (much larger) role as a betrayed security consultant. Schwarzenegger gets a couple of great campy scenes, and the supporting cast (including Jim Caviezel as the sadistic warden) is better than it needs to be. But overall, Escape Plan is a dumb, sloppy thriller that probably would have been a disappointment even in 1988.


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  • A balance of strong humor with serious danger and uncertainty with a cast full of great actors.

  • Remarkably, the film gradually neutralizes its apparent protagonist, adding to a harrowing experience.

  • Ken Jeong has had scene-stealing roles as oddball characters, but a little of his manic energy goes a long way.

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