Escape Plan

First slide

More intelligent than many of its genre peers, this actioner pairing Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger is also too harsh for all but the hardiest viewers. Stallone plays an expert on prison security who poses as an inmate to test each institution he investigates. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when he goes undercover in a privately run maximum-security jail with a cruel warden (Jim Caviezel) who knows his real identity but refuses to treat him as anything other than an ordinary convict. Joining forces with Schwarzenegger's character, the slammer's top dog, he searches for flaws in the system that could help them both fly the coop. Working from a script by Miles Chapman and Arnell Jesko, director Mikael Hafstrom uses the Sherlock Holmes-like observational skills of Stallone's persona to good effect, and implicitly raises real-life issues about the treatment of captured terrorists and other criminals. But brutality abounds in the movie's main setting; inmates brawl among themselves, masked guards beat their charges with gusto, and the two main characters stage fights as part of their escape plan. So the basic question remains how much pleasure or edification moviegoers will derive from watching the former governor of California head-butt Rocky.

Watch out for: Constant violence, much of it gory, an implied nonmarital situation, a revenge theme, much rough and crude language, a coarse joke, a couple of obscene gestures.

Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA: R, restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013