Jonathan Melville: Big, dumb movie lots of fun

Picture: contributed
Picture: contributed
Share this article
Have your say

IT seems you can’t keep an old action hero down, as proved by the latest Stallone/Schwarzenegger team-up, Escape Plan, which hit cinemas at the weekend.

Sly is Ray Breslin, an expert at designing escape-proof prisons. He tests his theories by having himself thrown in jail, from where he must then try to escape and prove to the authorities that they need his services to improve them.

When Breslin takes on the biggest job of his career he encounters Arnie’s Emil Rottmayer, a fellow inmate also keen to bust out of prison. He’s happy to team up with the new arrival if it means he’ll get his freedom.

The film is big, hulking and dumb, just like the very worst of the Hollywood heavy- weights’ movies from the 1980s and 1990s. Thankfully it’s also great fun, with much enjoyment to be had from the banter between the pair and the fact that both Stallone and Schwarzenegger are in on the joke.

It’s easy to criticise these sort of mindless films, but Escape Plan does exactly what it says on the tin. You shouldn’t go near it if you want Oscar-worthy material, but if you want to see two old pros doing what they do best, you can’t go wrong.

Another older actor making his mark at the cinema this week is Tom Hanks, who greys his beard and squints through glasses as Captain Phillips in Paul Greengrass’ film of the same name.

The star is bullied, battered and bruised during the course of the film and holds his own admirably, offering up a performance that will no doubt win him numerous awards.

Now we just need a Hanks/Stallone/Schwarzenegger team-up in 2014 and we could have something approaching the perfect movie. Forget Fast and Furious – how about Slow and a Bit Annoyed instead?


For more film comment visit