Jun 062018

Escape Plan is a fun throwback to the 80s and 90s action genre culminated with starring the two biggest actors of that era. Although neither one of them are at the top of their game, this is still an enjoyable flick well worth at least one viewing if only to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger fight.



Escape Plan

Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Summit Entertainment | R – 115 min. – $21.99 | June 5, 2018

Date Published: 06/06/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Mikael Hafstrom
Writer(s): Miles Chapman (story), Miles Chapman and Arnell Jesko (screenplay)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, Curtis Jackson
Features: Audio Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.5/5

The 1980s and 1990s have made a comeback of late with numerous remakes (see the upcoming RoboCop) and throwbacks (White House Down for instance). The latest is Escape Plan starring two aging action heroes with a script that is wildly simplistic and plenty of dumb moments and yet it’s entertaining as all hell.

The plot, as I said, is relatively simple: Breslin (SYLVESTER STALLONE) has the unique job of spending time in prison in order to find the system’s weaknesses, break out and present a report following up to fix the problems. He, along with his team which consists of computer specialist Hush (CURTIS JACKSON), right-hand woman Abigail (AMY RYAN) and handler/manager Lester Clark (VINCENT D’ONOFRIO), makes a lot of money doing so, though this also involves spending time in jail.

After this opening sequence showing what he does and how he does it, Breslin receives a lucrative but off-the-books offer from the CIA to enter a secret, privately run, facility housing the worst of the worst in the world. Despite the team not knowing where he is, Breslin accepts the job as it presents a difficult challenge, though he will regret the decision. First, as planned, he is picked up off the street but his captors are one step ahead removing an injected tracker. Breslin is then drugged and awakens on a plane, witnessing the death of another inmate at the hands of a tough man named Drake (VINNIE JONES).

Breslin is knocked out once more and wakes up inside a high-tech prison facility, known as “The Tomb” (which was this film’s original title) where the cells are clear all around and are stacked on one another in different blocks. It’s seemingly unbreakable as Breslin attempts to assess his situation, though it becomes worse during his integration process as he meets the Tomb’s sadistic warden named Hobbes (JIM CAVIEZEL). Breslin tries to tell him the code given to him for his release, but Hobbes has no clue what he’s talking about, leaving Breslin in a more than precarious position.

In the meantime, Breslin is introduced to others in the prison population including muscle man Rottmayer (ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER) though their initial meeting is at best icy with Breslin only concerned with finding an escape from the hell hole. However, eventually he accepts Rottmayer’s help with some staged fights that lands the two in the box, a metal container where super hot lamps cook the occupant. After this, Breslin meets a possibly sympathetic soul in Dr. Kyrie (SAM NEILL) who is in charge of keeping inmates healthy and especially, alive.

Not to give too much away, though the trailers revealed most of this, Breslin and Rottmayer eventually team up to try and find flaws in the system where the pair can escape with Breslin vowing to take the Tomb down with him if necessary. Oh, and Abigail and Hush? Well, save for a scene in the middle inquiring where Breslin is, the two disappear until the very end and have very little to do, which is a real waste of talent for an actress like Amy Ryan.

The existence and publicity (limited or otherwise) for Escape Plan was to finally see two action icons from the 80s and 90s finally paired up beyond a few scenes from the two Expendables movies. And really, seeing Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger (henceforth noted as “S/S”) fighting side-by-side, and in a few instances against one another, it was kind of cool. For their parts, the two works well off each other but at the same time, one shouldn’t go into this movie looking for tremendous dramatic acting not only from S/S but the supporting players as well.

Speaking of which, there’s nothing noteworthy about any of the supporting characters. Caviezel is limited just playing a big douche bag though he has some solid scenes with S/S and his final shot is priceless and admittedly unique. I already touched base on Amy Ryan and 50 Cent, neither one of them get a whole lot to do, though with 50, that might’ve been a good thing and for his part, Vincent D’Onofrio is woefully underutilized. Same goes for Vinnie Jones who obviously was doing Stallone as favor as he merely plays a thug who could’ve remained nameless or the generic Right Hand Thug.

Helmed by Mikael Håfström (1408, The Rite) and written by Miles Chapman (Road House 2) and Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher, Mirror Mirror), Escape Plan isn’t a complicated movie or unique in any shape or form, but it is a cool and fun throwback to the 80s and 90s seeing the two icons fighting side-by-side for an entire feature film. Although this is hardly memorable for either Stallone or Schwarzenegger, it’s still well worth renting as it is a fun ride.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. All of these features are also available on the 4K Ultra HD disc.

Audio Commentary – Director Mikael Hafstrom and Co-Writer Miles Chapman open up about the movie giving insight into how the movie was made and some other behind-the-scenes tidbits. It’s not the most enthralling track or anything but the pair fill the time pretty well.

Executing the Plan: The Making of Escape Plan (22:13; HD) – This featurette takes viewers behind-the-scenes with on-set interviews with the cast (including Stallone, Schwarzenegger) and crew talking about the origins and how it finally made it to the big screen.

Maximum Security: The Real Life Tomb (21:57; HD) looks at the real maximum security prisons, the history behind them, and the dangerous individuals who inhabit them. This doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the movie outside of experts in prisons critique the security shown.

Clash of the Titans (15:34; HD) is about the long-awaited pairing, in major roles at least, of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Deleted Scenes (8:13; HD) – 11 scenes that didn’t make it into the final cut, or were trimmed, are included here. There’s nothing here that was exceptional – and a few that were downright pointless – but fascinating to watch.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases Escape Plan onto the 4K format and is presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p high-definition transfer. Although I won’t say this is the best looking catalog title to come to the format, it definitely is a very nice looking one showcasing sharp detail and a good boost in the colors, while not seeming oversaturated, courtesy of the HDR.

AUDIO – 5.0/5

The original Blu-ray already came with a strong DTS-HD MA 7.1 track so this Dolby Atmos version certainly has more depth in comparison, though it’s not a significant upgrade, not that it matters as it still sounds absolutely incredible. Dialogue levels came through with good clarity while the action (or fight) scenes do pack a nice punch to go along with the aforementioned incredible depth with ambient noises or off-screen elements.


OVERALL – 4.25/5

Overall, Escape Plan is a fun throwback to the 80s and 90s action genre culminated with starring the two biggest actors of that era. Although neither one of them are at the top of their game, this is still an enjoyable flick well worth at least one viewing if only to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger fight. The 4K UHD release offers up excellent video/audio transfers and a good selection of bonus features.





The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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