Escape Plan (film)

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Escape Plan
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMikael Håfström
Produced by
Screenplay byMiles Chapman
Arnell Jesko
Story byMiles Chapman
Music byAlex Heffes
CinematographyBrendan Galvin
Edited byElliot Greenberg
Atmosphere Entertainment
Emmett/Furla Films
Envision Entertainment
Boies/Schiller Film Group
Distributed bySummit Entertainment
Release date
  • July 18, 2013 (2013-07-18) (SDCC[1])
  • October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) (United States[2])
Running time
115 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$54 million[4]
Box office$137.3 million[5]

Escape Plan is a 2013 American prison action thriller film starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and co-starring Jim Caviezel, 50 Cent, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio and Amy Ryan.[6] It was directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikael Håfström, and written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller (under the anagram pen-name 'Arnell Jesko').[7] The first film to pair up action film icons Stallone and Schwarzenegger as co-leads,[8] it follows Stallone's character Ray Breslin, a structural engineer who is incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, aided in his escape by fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer, portrayed by Schwarzenegger. The film is the first installment of the Escape Plan film series.

The film was released in the United States on October 18, 2013, received mixed reviews and grossed $137 million worldwide against a $54 million budget.


Former prosecutor Ray Breslin co-owns Breslin-Clark, a security firm specializing in testing supermax prisons. Posing as an ‘inmate’ to study facilities from within and exploit weaknesses to escape, Breslin is driven by the murders of his wife and child by an escaped convict he had successfully prosecuted.

Breslin and business partner Lester Clark receive a multimillion-dollar deal from CIA operative Jessica Mayer to test a top secret prison for disappeared persons, but Breslin’s team are not given the prison’s location, to minimize the chance of outside help. Against his own rules, Breslin agrees, allowing himself to be captured in the guise of a Spanish terrorist named "Anthony Portos." The plan goes awry when his captors remove a tracking microchip from his arm and drug him, preventing his colleagues from knowing where he has been taken.

Breslin wakes up in a complex of glass cells and realizes that the warden, Hobbes, is not the man he was supposed to meet. He befriends inmate Emil Rottmayer, who works for modern-day Robin Hood Victor Mannheim. The duo stage a fight that allows Breslin to study the solitary confinement cell, which disorients and dehydrates prisoners with high-powered halogen lights. Noticing the cell floors have rivets of steel instead of moisture-resistant aluminium, Breslin has Rottmayer acquire a metal plate from Hobbes's office floor, before they and Muslim inmate Javed are again thrown into solitary.

Using the metal plate, Breslin focuses the reflection from the lights to heat the steel around the rivets, shearing them when the steel expands. Finding a passageway below the floor, he discovers the prison is inside a massive cargo ship in the middle of the ocean. Breslin and Rottmayer continue to study the complex and learn the guards' routines. However, Hobbes reveals to Breslin that he is aware of his identity and, with chief security officer Drake watching over him, will ensure Breslin spends the rest of his life in the prison. Breslin offers Hobbes information on Mannheim from Rottmayer in exchange for being released; Hobbes agrees.

While Breslin feeds Hobbes false information about Mannheim, Breslin’s colleagues Abigail Ross and Hush grow suspicious of Clark when Breslin's paycheck for the job is frozen. They discover from hacked documents that the prison, codenamed "The Tomb," is owned by a for-profit organization linked to a private security contractor. Clark is revealed to be in contact with Hobbes about Breslin’s imprisonment. Rottmayer has Javed convince Hobbes that he is double-crossing them, and Javed is allowed above deck for his nightly prayer, where he uses a makeshift sextant to determine the ship's latitude, and Breslin and Rottmayer deduce they are in the Atlantic Ocean near Morocco.

Breslin convinces prison physician Dr. Kyrie to help him and Rottmayer escape by sending an email to Mannheim, and transmits a false tap code message from his cell, convincing Hobbes that a riot will occur in cell block C. With security misdirected, Javed instigates a riot at cell block A, allowing him, Breslin, and Rottmayer to run toward the deck while a lockdown is initiated. Breslin kills Drake, but Javed is killed by Hobbes and his men. Breslin goes to the engine room to shut down the electrical systems, giving Rottmayer time to open the deck hatch before the backup generators come online, while a helicopter sent by Mannheim engages in a gunfight with the ship's crew. Rottmayer boards the helicopter while Breslin is flushed to the bottom of the ship by the automated water system after Hobbes reboots the main electrical system. Reaching the helicopter as Hobbes fires at him, Breslin shoots and blows up some oil barrels, killing Hobbes.

The helicopter lands on a Moroccan beach, where Rottmayer reveals he is actually Mannheim, Mayer is his daughter, “Portos” was a codeword to alert Mannheim that Breslin was an ally, and Hobbes was originally unaware that Breslin's cover story was fake. Later, Ross informs Breslin that they discovered Clark was offered a $5 million annual salary to become CEO of the Tomb’s security company, should Breslin's imprisonment prove the ship was escape-proof. Hush tracked Clark to Miami and locked him in a shipping container bound for an unknown destination.



Early reports in 2011 speculated that Bruce Willis was cast as Ray Breslin.[9][10][11] It was revealed by producer Mark Canton on The Matthew Aaron Show that Jim Caviezel had signed on to the film, playing the prison warden Hobbes.[12]

British actor Vinnie Jones signed on to co-star as Drake, the ruthless prison guard.[13]

Variety and other media in the news stated that Amy Ryan, Vincent D'Onofrio, and 50 Cent had joined the cast of Escape Plan.[14][15] It was confirmed in mid-April that 50 Cent would play the computer expert who was once incarcerated for cyber crimes helping Breslin's character escape, D'Onofrio would play the deputy director of the high-tech prison, and Ryan would play Stallone's business partner and his potential love interest.[16]


In an interview with the British newspaper The Sun, Vinnie Jones stated that the film was to shoot April 16 to June 23 in New Orleans.[17] Shooting for Escape Plan was also confirmed to take place in Louisiana in the spring of 2012. In August 2012, at The Expendables 2 conference, Arnold Schwarzenegger commented on the film and stated that filming had finished.[18]

On April 9, 2013, it was officially announced that the film had been pushed back to a September 13, 2013 release and the film's title had been changed from The Tomb to Escape Plan.[19] It was eventually released on October 18, 2013.

On June 27, 2013, a debut trailer of Escape Plan was released through the gaming website IGN.


Box office[edit]

The film underperformed at the U.S. box office, debuting at number four on the box office chart with $9.89 million from 2,883 theaters and ultimately grossing only $25.1 million domestically. However, Escape Plan was an international box-office success, debuting at first place in several Asian and European markets, with the total international gross more than doubling its $50 million budget at $112.2 million, totaling up to a worldwide gross of $137.3 million.[5]

Critical response[edit]

Escape Plan was met with mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 50%, based on reviews from 107 critics, with an average score of 5.4/10. The site's critical consensus states: "As much fun as it is to see Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up onscreen, Escape Plan fails to offer much more than a pale imitation of 1980s popcorn thrills."[20] Metacritic gives the film a score of 49 out of 100, based on 33 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[21] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B+".[22]

Tom Huddleston of Time Out London gave the film two out of five stars, commenting that the film "would have made a perfect vehicle for, say, a Chuck Norris or even a Jean-Claude Van Damme. But these two redoubtable, enormously watchable old-school heroes deserve better."[23] Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy gave the film four out of five stars, commenting that it "defies those who wrote off the abilities of its stars to cut the muscular mustard in today's youth-orientated cultural climate. These supposedly old dogs have plenty of life—but their effectiveness relies on the foundation of a smart script that plays to their strengths and the audience's perception of their star personas."[24] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times said in his review: "Mikael Hafstrom, the director, pushes the suspense buttons efficiently, and the plot twists are disguised well enough for the not-very-demanding crowd this film will draw. The scenes with Mr. Stallone and Mr. Schwarzenegger are a little disappointing — it's their first pairing as top-billed co-stars, yet the script never gives them the kind of memorable exchange that makes fans howl with delight. But all in all, Escape Plan does what it sets out to do."[25]


In February 2017, it was announced that a sequel was then in development with Stallone confirmed to reprise his role as Ray Breslin. In the same report it was revealed that Steven C. Miller would direct the film, with Miles Chapman returning as screenwriter.[26] Dave Bautista, 50 Cent, and Jaime King have also been cast in the film.[27] In March 2017, the official title was announced as Escape Plan 2: Hades.

In April 2017, a third film entered the early stages of development with Stallone again signed on to reprise his role as Ray Breslin.[28] Titled Escape Plan: The Extractors, the film, in pre-production, is casting and "In this installment, the daughter of a Hong Kong tech executive goes missing in what appears to be a routine ransom job. As Breslin (Stallone) and his crew delve deeper, they discover the culprit is the deranged son of one of their former foes, who also kidnapped Breslin's love and is holding her inside the massive prison known as Devil's Station."[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stallone, Schwarzenegger in a high-octane action-thriller". The Philippine Star. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  2. ^ Niall Murphy. "First trailer for Mikael Håfström's Escape Plan". Scannain. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "Escape Plan (15)". E1 Films. British Board of Film Classification. October 1, 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  4. ^ 2013 Feature Film Study (PDF) (Report). FilmL.A. Inc. p. 11. Retrieved January 2, 2017 – via The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ a b Escape Plan at Box Office Mojo
  6. ^ Barnes, Henry (February 9, 2012). "Schwarzenegger and Stallone join forces for The Tomb". The Guardian. London.
  7. ^ Gorber, Jason (October 18, 2013). "Review: Escape Plan Is Escapist Fun". Twitch Film. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Lipp, Chaz (October 18, 2013). "Movie Review: Escape Plan". Cinema Lowdown.
  9. ^ Weintraub, Steve. "Bruce Willis to Star in Prison Escape Drama THE TOMB for Director Antoine Fuqua and Summit Entertainment". Collider. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  10. ^ Landy, Ben (May 27, 2010). "Bruce Willis To Star In 'The Tomb'". Hollywood.
  11. ^ Miller, Ross. "Bruce Willis In Talks For Prison Escape Drama 'The Tomb'". Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  12. ^ White, James (February 21, 2012). "Jim Caviezel Enters The Tomb". Empire Magazine Online.
  13. ^ "Vinnie Jones Confirmed For The Tomb". Expendables Premiere. March 23, 2012. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  14. ^ Sneider, Jeff; Kroll, Justin (April 4, 2012). "D'Onofrio, 50 Cent enter 'The Tomb': Amy Ryan, Vinnie Jones also join Summit actioner". Variety.
  15. ^ Chitwood, Adam (April 4, 2012). "Amy Ryan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vinnie Jones and 50 Cent Join The Tomb". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Chitwood, Adam (April 9, 2012). "50 Cent Joins Stallone, Schwarzenegger in 'The Tomb'". EURweb. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  17. ^ kauri (February 17, 2012). "Stallone and Schwarzenegger headed to New Orleans for 'The Tomb'". Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  18. ^ Associated Press (May 8, 2012). "Schwarzenegger joins Stallone in 'The Tomb'". Baton Rouge, LA: The Advocate. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Tomb is Now The Escape Plan". Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  20. ^ Escape Plan at Rotten Tomatoes
  21. ^ Escape Plan at Metacritic
  22. ^ "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search".
  23. ^ Huddleston, Tom (October 15, 2013). "Escape Plan". Time Out London. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  24. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben (October 14, 2013). "'Escape Plan' review: 'Arnie and Sly rescue geriaction genre'". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  25. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (October 18, 2013). "Behind Bars, Where Anything Goes - Schwarzenegger and Stallone Star in Escape Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  26. ^
  27. ^ Pedersen, Erik. "Jaime King & Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Break Into 'Escape Plan 2'". Deadline. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  28. ^
  29. ^

External links[edit]