Some things never get old!

December 22, 2013

Some things never get old!
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
James Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill
Directed by: Mikael Hafström
Tagline: No one breaks out alone
Before you read ahead, let me be very clear here. You might consider them wooden actors for their expressionless acting, but to me they are the ones who revived the action genre in the 80s and kept it alive in the 90s. Without them, there wouldn’t have been a Rambo, a Commando, a Rocky, a Terminator, a Cliffhanger or even a Predator! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are the reasons why I even became interested in movies, let alone becoming a film critic. And in Escape Plan, I get to see the two together, fighting for a cause and winning in the end just like their characters in the past!

How Stallone meets Schwarzenegger!

He is the world’s leading prison escape artist with the ability to break out of any prison designed by man and a passion for taking on challenges even when the odds are against him. In Escape Plan, Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) gets to show off his unique set of skills and make friends on the way, entertaining the audience, especially if you were a fan of one Arnold Schwarzenegger who always wanted to be back!


The dream casting of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger comes alive in Mikael Håfström’s flick where they – along with many weird characters – are stuck in the Tomb (that’s the name of the facility where they are kept under lock and key!) and plan to break out on the lines of Stallone’s Escape to Victory and Lockup.

There is plenty of action around

When Arnie’s character finally handles an automatic rifle at the climax, most of the people in the crowd got what they came for! The Governator doing what he does best – blowing away the bad guys with a huge grin that reminded one of his earlier roles when all he could think of was ‘Terminating’ the asset! In the United States, people may not have liked what they saw but Pakistan is not part of the States and here, an older Arnold is as good as a younger one, and watching him in action is always a delight.
Same goes for Sylvester Stallone who does most of the athletic scenes since it’s his character’s job to expose the loop holes in the most secure prisons in the country. His latest task may seem nightmarish where he has a sadistic jail warden Hobbes (Caviezel) following his every move but in a world of foes, there is always a friend around! Both actors have their fight scenes which become better with the passage of time, and the action sequence at the climax reminds you of any buddy movie from the 80s, but here’s the catch – their names are Stallone and Schwarzenegger!

Ensemble cast, entertaining dialogues does the rest!

An ensemble cast including the Jurassic Park man Sam Neill, the indomitable Jim Caviezel and the always-dependable Vinnie Jones also make their presence felt in the flick whenever the ‘aging’ stars need a hand. As for the dialogues, at times they are very entertaining. "You fight like a vegetarian” is how Arnold reacts when hit by Stallone, whereas ‘Welcome Back’ from the guy who played Terminator is always a treat to hear!

The ‘Faran Tahir’ factor

Pakistani actor Faran Tahir finally makes it into the big league with Escape Plan where he not only does what nearly every actor from this part of the world fantasizes to do – pull the trigger, fight with his fists and cuss the baddies – but also displays his acting prowess. As Javed, he is the chosen prisoner of the two action stars (of yesteryears) as their partner-in-escape because of his religion (he can pray in open air, pivotal to the story), and also because of his ability to command respect and instigate a fight at will. ‘You better be right about this’ is what he says when he goes on to stage a revolt, and watching him on the large screen in an important role will certainly make all Pakistanis proud.


All-out action, with kings in the ring!

The pace of Escape Plan picks up at the middle when their plan to run away becomes clear to the viewers. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone fight each other to get into the solitary cell, strike deals with the warden to get what they want and have agendas that are kept secret from each other – something that keeps the viewers glued to their seats till the conclusion. The movie is strictly made for fans of the action amigos and offers you a decent time at the cinemas, even if you aren’t a fan. Hasta La Vista, Baby!

The author works for Geo TV and can be contacted at [email protected]

Some things never get old!