Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I hope I never see you again.

There have been many things from my past that I have wished would have come together. While a few have been honorable like a certain job and my availability and qualifications, most have been something not so honorable, like my fist and that guy's face. Some even stray into pervy territory, like the supposed joining of my face to say, her breasts.

But long before I was incapable of thinking about anything other than women, I thought about men. Big, sweaty men. With their massive muscles and super-deep voices. I wanted these man to come together and do one thing, and one thing only.

I wanted them to beat the shit out of each other.

Seeing Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Scwarzenegger come together in Escape Plan made me happy. Not motorboating happy mind you, but happy nonetheless. At times, the flick filled me with a sense of nostalgia and childlike joy, and I couldn't help but smile. But like many childhood fantasies, upon closer inspection, the whole thing is pretty much pointless.

Sure these two aging titans have shared the screen in both Expendables flicks, but something was different here, a little more intimate perhaps. If only it had been good.

Sly plays Ray Breslin, security expert and prison system consultant. Breslin, after a career as a lawyer, has dedicated his life to making sure prisons are escape proof. How, you ask? He thoroughly examines the blueprints from his cushy office and makes recommendations via conference call, obviously. 

Wait. That's not it.

Actually, going deep undercover, Breslin gets locked up posing as a degenerate scumbag, then breaks out from the inside, exposing the prison's flaws firsthand. Bitch.

Because, you know, that's a job that guys have. I'm sure of it.

Anway, Breslin finds himself in the deepest of shit, after taking a high paying job from a mysterious young woman (though, aren't they all?). It seems someone has built a prison using all the strategies outlined in, get this, Breslin's own book! Oh, no he didn't. But, he did. And this prison is a real tough nut to crack, to say the least. Even worse? This is one of those places that houses the worst of the worst. Criminals so bad, they haven't even been given a trial, just locked up in a gigantic version of Magneto's cell in X-Men (or our version of Asgard's luxurious accommodations for the rude).

On paper, it would appear that Breslin is totally boned, but reluctantly, he ends up befriending fellow inmate Rottmayer, played by Scwarzenegger. Rottmayer, for reasons that are initially very unclear, is game for whatever to help Breslin formulate and exit strategy. Quickly, and not at all surprisingly, no way out becomes simply a matter of time. And luck. Lots and lots of luck.

If all of this sounds rather okay, it's likely because the entire production is mediocre at best, minus a few bits of inpsired lunacy. The draw here is the pairing of Sly and Arnie. Everything else seems borrowed from a better-than-average DTV flick. Had this sumbitch starred Eric Roberts and Lou Diamond Phillips, it would have been destined for the (second-to-the) bottom row on your typical Redbox machine, no harm done. But come with any real expectations, and you might feel ripped, even at a buck-fifty for the blu-ray.

Speaking of lowered expectations, here are the recently paroled Yays and Boos. They got thirty days community service for defiling a national landmark. Fine. They pissed on my Mt. Rushmore of Clutch Movie Neighbors. Jerks.

I could look at this for like, ten minutes straight. That, or forever.
  • Dumb as it is, I really enjoyed the breakdown of how Breslin escapes.
  • To track Breslin, they painfully inject a transponder into him. The reason I like this? Well, thirty seconds later it's removed. Painfully.
  • Jim Caviezel, as Warden Hobbes, probably gained twenty pounds by the end of shooting, chewing all that scenery.
  • Breslin gives Hobbes his evacuation code, assuming it will lead to his release. Hobbes basic reaction? Cool numbers, bro. Eat a dick.
  • Arnold Schwarnegger, is a Yay. Like, he's why I have ever silently cheered at a movie in the first place. Here, it's no different. When he says, need a favor? That's a Yay. But when he then cocks a thumb at himself? It becomes something much, much better. Even if it may have been code for gay prison sex.
  • Childhood dreams, if you wait long enough, do come true. Sly and Arnie have a pretty sweet fight, culminating in the groan (and boner) inducing line: You hit like a vegetarian.
  • Sam Neil in this. AS A F--KING DOCTOR! I couldn't read his ID, but I'm pretty sure it said Alan Grant.
  • Vinnie Jones is in this, too. AS AN ASSHOLE! Um, without an ID.
  • Okay, enough of that. Anyway, if you want to see the best map ever, check out the one Rottmayer draws during interrogation. Let's just say it's reminiscent of what The Dude found at Jackie Treehorn's.
  • Heating the rivets. Ridiculous, but I like it.
  • The only thing better than Arnold going crazy in English, is Arnold going crazy in German.
  • Speaking of aural bliss, the sound that Stallone makes in distress? That's in my top 5 sounds ever, right behind my infant daughter laughing and someone else farting.
  • They nickname some of the guards, and it's all kinds of awesome. There's the duo of Duck and Hives. We've got Louisa, too. But the best? The Chicken Man.
  • There's a stuntman who gets worked over by Sly and Arnie at the same time. I looked up his name in IMDb. It's Luckiest Man Alive.
  • The 'say cheese' picture is so good, it's trending #1 on my personal Movie Stills to Tattoo on My Face message board.
  • Guys, serious time. There's a handshake where these two giants say, you son of a bitch. I think I cried.
  • And finally, in my favorite moment of the film (or any film), Arnold Schwarzenegger grabs a machine gun and smiles. In. Slow. Motion.
On casual Friday, you get to wear your silly mask.
  • 50 Cent. Even if it's shawty's birthday, this dude probably shouldn't be in movies. Though I will give credit for five-eighths of his dialogue including the word motherf--ker.
  • The entire film hinges on this massive prison that is off the grid. The inmates are sent there without trial, to rot away and die. It might, possibly, potentially, maybe be say...just kill these motherf--kers instead, right?
  • The cafeteria looks like a soundstage from Armageddon. All things considered, it might be a little too nice for a thousand piece of shit criminals.
  • Whoa. Isolation sucks. 
  • A major thing in this story is the creation of a sextant. If you can get through all the celestial measuring action without wishing upon a star for your own imminent death, you have my undying respect.
  • I hope you like it when bullets hit nearby pipes.
  • In a prison movie, it's moderately uncomfortable when one man looks another in the eye and says, I own your ass. I'm sorry. I've always been squeamish around romantic grand gestures.
  • There's an engine room guy, and I swear to you, he's dressed like he should be driving Percy from Thomas & Friends. Luckily, like I so often wished would happen on that awful children's show, Stallone punches him in the face.
  • Arnold + running = something I no longer enjoy.
  • Is is appropriate that Breslin saves the day by flushing the tank?
  • Do you remember Holly from The Office? She's in this. And I don't think Michael Scott would appreciate what these two are doing together.
  • And finally, even though it's a joke in video games, we somehow still manage to beat the final boss with...wait for it...exploding barrels. If I only I were strapped to one.
This post was so long, it probably felt like a life sentence making it to the end. Well, lucky you, you've just been paroled. Wait, hold on. Let me leave you with a line from Escape Plan, okay? It's not quite, I'll be back, but I think it's going to catch on.

Have a lovely day, asshole.


  1. I liked this more than you did, but yeah, my favorite scene is Arnie with a machine gun. If I were a bad guy, don't care if I'm in a tank or even the freaking Star Wars Death Star.... when see Arnie with a machine gun.... I run away!

    1. I have a lot of Yays, so there's definitely a part of me that really enjoyed the film, but without the big guys in the lead, this movie wouldn't have been worth the time.

      Hmm. I probably could've typed just typed that instead of this long-ass review, huh?

  2. It's the movie that's three decades late! I too, was an Arnie and Sly nut back in the day. Had this come out in 1984, or even '94, I'd have seen it the day it hit theaters. Now, not so much. I'll see it whenever I get around to it. Cool review.

    1. Aw. Sometimes I feel three decades too late.

      But, basically, I completely agree with this sentiment. If you stumble into it, go for it. If not, no harm done.