Movie Review - Escape Plan

Escape Plan **½ (R) Those who have been waiting for Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger to co-star in an action flick have finally gotten their wish. Both of you. For some, this will serve as a fine piece of nostalgia, with the guys in their mid-sixties pairing up to escape from a super-secure high-tech floating prison, designed for evildoers as a successor to our extreme rendition programs. Stallone stars as a specialized consultant, making a fine living by escaping from maximum-security prisons to test their weak spots. This time, he’s double-crossed when the job he thinks he’s doing turns out to be a plan for early, forced retirement. Arnold plays an inmate with ties to a master criminal who is either a terrorist or a Robin Hood. The warden’s (Jim Caviezel, ranging far afield from Jesus and other good-guy roles) main goal is to break Arnold to learn where his boss might be hiding.

The sets are top-notch, with the main action housed in a sci-fi vision for permanent incarceration. The dialog is not only reasonable, but laced with macho humor, including a nod to the huge disconnect between the Mensa intellect of Sly’s character, and everything about the way he looks and sounds. Both actors do the tough-guy thing with conviction, geared down for their ages, but still with surprising vigor.

That leads to those of us who might find this depressing. Your reviewer’s age is within a year of both stars. While I never even thought about how poorly I would have fared against either by any physical criteria in our youth, I’m stuck with realizing how the gap has widened considerably. Decades of bad movies for one, and worse politics for the other have aged them less than my relatively benign lifestyle. Sigh. How I yearn for my old metabolism. (10/18/13)

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