Escape Plan (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mikael Håfström|
|Screenplay by||Miles Chapman|
|Story by||Miles Chapman|
|Music by||Alex Heffes|
|Edited by||Elliot Greenberg|
Boies/Schiller Film Group
|Distributed by||Summit Entertainment|
|Box office||$137.3 million|
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. It was directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikael Håfström, and written by Miles Chapman and Jason Keller (under the anagram pen-name 'Arnell Jesko'). The first film to pair up Stallone and Schwarzenegger as co-leads, it follows Stallone's character Ray Breslin, a lawyer turned prison security tester who is incarcerated in the world's most secret and secure prison, and recruits fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer, portrayed by Schwarzenegger, to stage a breakout. 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 is the founder and co-owner of Breslin-Clark, a security firm specializing in testing the security measures of supermax prisons. Posing as an "inmate" to study facilities from within and exploit their weaknesses to escape, Breslin is driven by the murders of his wife and child by an escaped convict he had successfully prosecuted, and has garnered a reputation as the man who can escape any prison.
Breslin and his business partner, Lester Clark, receive a multimillion-dollar deal from CIA operative Jessica Miller to test a new, top secret prison for disappeared persons on one condition: Ray and his team cannot know the prison's true location. Although this violates his own principles, Breslin agrees anyway, allowing himself to be captured under the assumed identity of a Spanish terrorist-for-hire named "Anthony Portos." The plan goes awry when his captors remove a tracking microchip he had secretly implanted in his arm and drug him, preventing his colleagues from knowing where he has been taken.
Breslin wakes up inside the prison and realizes that the warden, Hobbes, is not the same warden who was supposed to release him in an emergency. He befriends another inmate, Emil Rottmayer, who claims to be a security expert for Victor Mannheim, a faceless Robin Hood-type figure who steals from the wealthy. The duo stage a fight that allows Breslin to get thrown into the solitary confinement cell, which he quickly learns is intended to disorient and dehydrate prisoners with high-powered halogen lights. Realizing the cell floors have rivets of steel instead of more secure aluminum, Breslin has Rottmayer acquire a metal plate from Hobbes's office floor, before they and a Pakistani inmate named Javed are again thrown into solitary.
Using the metal plate, Breslin focuses the reflection from the lights onto the steel rivets, heating them so that they loosen 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 then reveals to Breslin that he is aware of his true identity, has assigned his head of security Drake to monitor him at all times, and will ensure Breslin spends the rest of his life in the prison. Breslin offers Hobbes information on Mannheim from Rottmayer in exchange for his release; Hobbes agrees.
While Breslin feeds Hobbes false information about Mannheim, his colleagues, Abigail Ross and Hush, grow suspicious of Clark when Breslin's paycheck for the job is frozen. Hush hacks secret documents and discovers that the prison, codenamed "The Tomb," is owned by a for-profit organization linked to a notorious 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 is rewarded by being allowed to go above deck for his nightly prayer; this allows him to use a makeshift sextant to determine the ship's latitude. From this, Breslin and Rottmayer deduce they are in the Atlantic Ocean near Morocco.
Breslin convinces the prison physician, Dr. Kyrie (who is also a prisoner), 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 top deck while a lockdown is initiated. Breslin kills Drake when he tries to stop them, but Javed is gunned down by Hobbes and his men. Breslin goes to the engine room to shut down the Tomb's electrical grid, 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 guards. Rottmayer boards the helicopter while Breslin is flushed to the bottom of the ship by the automated water system after Hobbes reboots the grid. Reaching the helicopter as Hobbes fires at him, Breslin uses a bullet to ignite several leaking oil barrels, killing Hobbes.
The helicopter lands on a Moroccan beach, where Rottmayer reveals he is actually Mannheim and "Jessica Miller" is in fact his daughter, who secretly hired Breslin to mastermind her father's escape. "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 explains that he already tracked Clark to Miami and locked him in a shipping container bound for an unknown destination.
- Sylvester Stallone as Ray Breslin / Anthony Portos, a former prosecutor, businessman and skilled structure engineer who is best known for being the world's best escape artist.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as Emil Rottmayer / Victor X. Mannheim, an inmate who befriends Ray.
- Jim Caviezel as Warden Hobbes, the aggressive, assertive and malicious owner of the Tomb prison facility.
- Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson as Hush, Ray's best friend who is working as his own technical expert.
- Sam Neill as Dr. Kyrie, the doctor of the Tomb prison facility.
- Vinnie Jones as Drake, Hobbes' sadistic and violent personal assistant and bodyguard as well as the leader of the Tomb prison facility's security array.
- Faran Tahir as Javed, a Muslim criminal and an inmate of the Tomb who allys with Breslin and Mannheim.
- Vincent D'Onofrio as Lester Clark, Ray's business partner who arranges the various escape jobs. He is later revealed to be the mastermind behind Ray's abduction and incarceration into the Tomb, where he plans to be the CEO of the Tomb’s security company
- Amy Ryan as Abigail Ross, a senior member of Breslin-Clark and another friend of Ray.
- Graham Beckel as Brims
- Matt Gerald as Roag
- Caitriona Balfe as Jessica Miller, a CIA operative who hires Breslin. She is later revealed to be Mannheim's daughter who helped her father and Breslin.
- Lydia Hull as Jules, a receptionist
Early reports in 2011 speculated that Bruce Willis was cast as Ray Breslin. 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.
Variety and other media in the news stated that Amy Ryan, Vincent D'Onofrio, and 50 Cent had joined the cast of Escape Plan. 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.
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. 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.The engine room fight scene between Breslin and Drake was filmed onboard the bulk carrier RICAN, the giveaway is IMO NO 7621932 seen in several scenes.
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. It was eventually released on October 18, 2013.
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.
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." Metacritic gives the film a score of 49 out of 100, based on 33 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B+".
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." 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." 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."
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. Dave Bautista, 50 Cent, and Jaime King have also been cast in the film. 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. 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."
- List of American films of 2013
- Arnold Schwarzenegger filmography
- Sylvester Stallone filmography
- Lock Up, another Sylvester Stallone movie set in a prison
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- Escape Plan at Metacritic
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- Rawson-Jones, Ben (October 14, 2013). "'Escape Plan' review: 'Arnie and Sly rescue geriaction genre'". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
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- Pedersen, Erik. "Jaime King & Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Break Into 'Escape Plan 2'". Deadline. Retrieved March 11, 2017.