Sylvester Stallone (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger star opposite rapper 50 Cent in <em>Escape Plan</em>.

Sylvester Stallone (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger star opposite rapper 50 Cent in Escape Plan.

Review: Escape Plan

Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger star in a film written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller and directed by Mikael Håfström.

Just as we might take a strange fascination in the charming bathtub-side paintings of former president George Bush, we have a particular and renewed interest in the special subspecies of “action flick acting” by our state’s former fearless leader, Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. On some levels, it may still be hard to believe he was a highly paid actor or a head of state, but that’s part of the fun in keeping tabs on the man, who teams up with another muscle-bound, English challenged screen hero, Sylvester Stallone, in Escape Plan, a middling but oddly entertaining prison flick.

Rest assured; Arnold is not lapsing into girly man roles, at least this time out. He plays a tough guy in a bleak situation, a prisoner in a higher-than-high security escape-proof dungeon for criminals in need of being “disappeared.” At the center of the plot is Stallone’s character, whose job it is to test the security of prisons by breaking out of them. Asking us to accept Stallone as an intelligent mastermind, rather than just a determined lunkhead, strains credulity and inspires muffled laughter, even amongst the film’s creators. There is a funny scene in which Stallone spews some detailed scientific data at the prison table, and Schwarzenegger mugs “you don’t look that smart.” Stallone’s retort: “You don’t, either.” True, that.

In terms of its place in the genre of prison escape cinema, Escape Plan isn’t exactly on par with Robert Bresson’s ascetic masterpiece A Man Escaped, and yet it does appeal by virtue of its attention to the necessarily minute details. Beyond such minutiae intrigue, the film supplies us with a few of those tasty, Austrian-accented Arnold-ian zingers we so love to hear, as when he tells Sly “you fight like a vegetarian” or kisses off foes in a ludicrous shootout finale “have a lovely, day, assholes.” Good to have him not mincing words amongst the citizenry and on the big screen again.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Animal-Free Circus Vargas in Town

Dreaming of Pirates! is this year's theme.

Morning Train Runs On Time and Roomy

Twelve weeks after start of commuter service, train is less than half full.

Alleged Butane Honey Oil Dealer Arrested

Dylan Sulit-Swalley was paroled from Pelican Bay State Prison last year.

Crying Children Audibly Illustrate Border Crisis

[Update] AP reporters learn infants are among the incarcerated. Inhumane separation of families protested by everyone from ...

Two Injured in Alleged DUI Collision

Pedestrians, age 91 and 50, were walking near Linden Avenue at Ninth Street in Carpinteria.