Movie review: “Escape Plan” finally teams Sly and Arnie, but with mixed results

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From the October 17, 2013 edition

Remember in the ’80s when you dreamed about the movie that had a team-up between Rocky and The Terminator? Rambo and John Matrix?

Well, Hollywood finally made it happen with “Escape Plan” uniting Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger for some ass-kicking action. (Sly and Arnie’s previous on-screen coupling in “The Expendables” franchise isn’t exactly a “team-up” because those movies are more an ensemble of action stars. But I digress.)

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is the world’s greatest prison escape artist who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons to make sure its clinks are inescapable. None are when it comes to Breslin. When the C.I.A needs to test its new black site, there’s only one man for the job.

So Breslin is placed in the world’s most badass prison, then realizes something is amiss and he’s being setup. The only way out is with the help of fellow inmate Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).

“Escape Plan” isn’t trying to forge new ground in the action/prison escape genre; just hoping audiences enjoy Stallone and Schwarzenegger punching, dropping one-liners and hamming it up.

There are some fun moments from the stars — and especially Jim “look it’s Jesus” Caviezel as the ridiculously malicious warden — but not enough to fill out the two-hour runtime.

The movie gets bogged down in the second act parceling out the escape plan strategy (and some odd prison politics), although the climax has some fun action sequences.

If you’re in the market for a brooding baritone Stallone and an over-the-top Schwarzenegger, who really steals the show with his antics, “Escape Plan” will fulfill. If you’re looking for a taunt and entertaining action flick, not so much.