Director: John Herzfeld
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, Devon Sawa
Release Date: July 2, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Screen legend Sylvester Stallone kicks this explosive action tale into high gear. After security expert Ray Breslin (Stallone) is hired to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul from a formidable Latvian prison, Breslin’s girlfriend (Jaime King) is also captured. Now he and his team, which includes Dave Bautista and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, must pull off a deadly rescue mission to confront their sadistic foe and save the hostages before time runs out.
The third installment in the action franchise, ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ brings everything full circle as security expert and escape artist Ray Breslin (Stallone) finds everything he built and everyone he cares about threatened when the son of his ex-partner (Sawa) suddenly appears capturing the daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul, as well as the love of Breslin’s life (King), holding them both hostage within a deadly and almost forgotten maze of a prison called ‘Devil’s Station’. Now, Breslin will have to call in some favors and join forces with a couple unknown allies in a desperate and explosive attempt to infiltrate the prison and finish this feud once and for all.
Directed this time around by John Herzfeld (15 Minutes, 2 Days In The Valley) from a screenplay he also co-wrote with Miles Chapman (Escape Plan 1 & 2) Herzfeld does a solid job at the helm of ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ guiding along the action, tension and even emotion quite well. The cast this time around is comprised of a few returning individuals to the franchise, along with some newcomers and includes Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Max Zhang (Pacific Rim: Uprising), Devon Sawa (Idle Hands), Jaime King (TV’s Hart of Dixie), Curtis Jackson (TV’s Power), Malese Jow (TV’s The Flash), Harry Shum Jr. (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny) and more, with most offering decent enough performances in each of their respective roles, and Devon Sawa (someone whose work I’ve always enjoyed) making for a surprisingly fun and capable villain.
‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ is a fairly solid and enjoyable new addition to the action franchise with enough explosive action and noteworthy hand to hand combat sequences to please action movie fans. A significant improvement over ‘Escape Plan 2: Hades’ which had its moments but definitely fell flat in comparison with the impressive and massively entertaining first film, and even if this third installment in the series never quite manages to reach the level of the original it certainly comes much closer. Albeit largely abandoning the whole escape aspect in favor of a rescue approach this time around (perhaps the reasoning for the subtitle) it mostly manages to make it all work and also provides Stallone far more screen time than last time. Perhaps the most welcome surprise of ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ is that it’s by far the most personal and surprising entry out of the entire trilogy in its own right. Not to mention capably bringing the overall story full circle as events and actions from ‘Escape Plan’ largely influence the entire story, and of course providing plenty of exciting and grin-inducing action sequences along the way. I would definitely encourage fans of the ‘Escape Plan’ films (or even just the first one) and fans of Stallone’s work in general to try and find time to check out ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ whenever it might be convenient, there’s a pretty solid chance you’ll at least end up having quite a bit of fun with it.
Overall, ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ is a welcome surprise after the rather mediocre second film, providing some actual heart and even a couple fairly shocking moments for the first time in the franchise, while also giving Stallone a far more prominent place in the action than last time around. ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ is recommended for hardcore Stallone fans and anyone that enjoyed either or both of the previous ‘Escape Plan’ films. Action fans in general should also appreciate quite a bit of it, although it would beneficial to at least see the first ‘Escape Plan’ beforehand if you haven’t previously had the pleasure. This third entry in the action franchise may not be perfect or quite live up to the original, but it’s greatly superior to the previous sequel and well worth taking the time to check out, even if some may prefer to wait for a cheaper rental option or streaming availability down the road.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty good altogether, offering a sharp, clean and fairly detailed presentation from start to finish, with no notable or significant faults to be found throughout. It holds up rather well even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that looks pretty smooth and clean throughout and shouldn’t disappoint fans of the franchise.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack does a nice job of complimenting the onscreen action while providing a crisp, clean and at times fairly hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send bullets, action effects and other natural sounds along with more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a great 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that more than capably delivers from start to finish and contributes its share of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’ includes a couple worthwhile extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Writer/Director John Herzfeld and Actors Sylvester Stallone, Devon Sawa and Daniel Bernhardt’, along with a behind the scenes Featurette ‘The Making of Escape Plan: The Extractors’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length) which features interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more.