Friday 18 October 2013

"Escape Plan" (The Guardian 18/10/13)

Escape Plan (15) 116 mins **

What’s the most preposterous aspect of this not-so-great escape: that Sly Stallone should be playing the brains behind the weighty tome “Compromising Correctional Institution Security”? That he should blithely accept Government coin to test the perimeters of an off-the-grid panopticon where Vinnie Jones commands greater authority than Sam Neill? Or simply that he’s then obliged to accept the protection of Austrian anarchist Arnold Schwarzenegger? (A brawnily tender shower scene may have hit the cutting-room floor.) Director Mikael Håfström clears some space for his hotchpotch cast, and delivers one smartly concealed twist, but he’s stuck with increasingly ropey material, and the problem of setting semi-crucial structural talk in mouths that haven’t formed a coherent sentence for decades. It’s basically Prison Break for dopes, and – in everything from the prisoners’ jumpsuits to the streaks in Arnie’s hair – decidedly grey pulp, never quite distinctive enough to merit anything more than a tardy, generally unmemorable DVD viewing.

Escape Plan is in cinemas nationwide.

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