Escape Plan [Blu-Ray]
Director: Mikael Håfström
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel
Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD February 4, 2014
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
When a structural-security authority finds himself set up and incarcerated in the world’s most secret and secure prison, he has to use his skills to escape with help from the inside.
When you first step into a film that stars Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the two lead roles, you can’t help but expect a generic and mindless action film to some degree or another. Considering this is the second film Schwarzenegger has been in now in a row that surpassed my expectations, I might just have to rethink my position on this immediate estimation, at least when it involves him. Following the stellar ‘The Last Stand’, Schwarzenegger this time joins with Stallone (who portrays the main character in this one) and what we are given is far more than what you might expect. ‘Escape Plan’ is a surprisingly well constructed mystery thriller with just enough hard hitting and brutal action as to not disappoint fans of the two action genre leads.
One thing I must admit surprised me about ‘Escape Plan’ was the overall powerful performances in this one, a couple of which even caught me a little off guard. Stallone and Schwarzenegger both give surprisingly capable performances, certainly a step up from the norm, and it’s quite a change of pace to see these two both playing highly intellectual characters for a change as well. The real standout performance would have to be that of Jim Caviezel in my opinion, of whom I’ve become a huge fan of over the course of the last few years with his outstanding performance on the television series ‘Person of Interest’ and who this time portrays a rarely (for him) evil and sadistic character and pulls it off flawlessly. Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson did a very impressive job in his role as well, and I must admit I actually have some more respect for this man after seeing him in this role that couldn’t be farther from what I imagine is the real person portraying it, which I personally feel always speaks highly of someone’s acting capability. Sam Neil and Vincent D’Onofrio are also present in slightly smaller roles, though still delivering solid performances on both of their parts.
OVERALL: While it is by no means perfect, ‘Escape Plan’ is a surprisingly smart and well executed mystery thriller with a healthy amount of brutal action sprinkled in for good measure and it delivers far more than the average mindless action film that you might expect from a movie with Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the leads. For fans of action, thrillers, mystery’s, great prison escape movies (or even Jim Caviezel and other cast members) I would highly recommend checking this one out, I think many of you will be very pleasantly surprised with how great it actually is.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Escape Plan’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation on this one looks pretty flawless for the most part. All of the colors are adequately sharp, while the edges of the picture are smooth, and everything looks properly detailed and pretty great overall with no significant imperfections noticeable to me. Everyone should be quite satisfied with this high definition video presentation.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which sounds great and is quite a bit of fun. While ‘Escape Plan’ doesn’t contain anywhere near the level of action that one might expect from a film with Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the leads, it does indeed have a number of both intense and action packed sequences, and those moments give this 7.1 channel lossless soundtrack ample opportunity to show off its stuff, which it does admirably. All seven channels are frequently utilized throughout and it definitely adds a lot to the fun of this great movie.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Escape Plan’ features a pretty nice helping of extra content. Included is an Audio Commentary with the director and co-writer, three featurettes and a number of deleted scenes. There is certainly some worthwhile and informative bonus content that should keep everyone fairly busy for awhile following their viewing of the film.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
‘Escape Plan’ arrives on Blu-Ray & DVD February 4, 2014 From Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate Home Entertainment.