Escape Plan (2013)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Escape Plan</strong> (2013)

(On Cable TV, September 2014)  Once upon a time, in the early nineties, a film featuring both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone would have been An Event fit to explode all box-office records, fannish expectations and critical snark.  Now, more than twenty years later, Escape Plan is… just another action B-movie, anchored by familiar faces but not nearly as earth-shattering as it could have been.  It probably doesn’t help that the film revolves around Stallone (rarely a good actor, now increasingly ridiculous in his mumbling old age) and a rather hum-drum plot the likes of which we’ve seen a few times already.  The action sequences are limp (although two of the fight scenes offer the expected pleasure of seeing Stallone and Schwarzenegger trade a few body-blows), the villains are bland and the film doesn’t build up to much more than the obvious conclusion.  Sure, there’s a few twists and turns and flashy “here’s how I did it” explanations… but the film simply has the feel of a low-budget action movie that just happens to feature two of the biggest box-office stars of two decades ago.  Escape Plan has the merit of not being actively bad or unpleasant, just not as distinctive as it should have been considering the past caliber of its stars.

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