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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Escape Plan is an action movie starring two of the most popular veterans of action movies: Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not surprisingly, the movie contains tons of over-the-top violence, often without consequence. There's fighting, shooting, and blood. Prison guards torture inmates, and bloody wounds are stitched up in a doctor's office. Language is also strong, with multiple uses of "f--k" and "motherf--ker" as well as minimal uses of other words. There's also some minor sexual innuendo, including references to a "whore" and a hand motion referring to oral sex. The mood is light, and the movie is dumb fun for fans.
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What's the story?
Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is an expert at prison breaking, posing as an inmate to break out of many high security prisons. To prove it, the movie begins with his latest escape. But then he gets a call to break out of a new kind of prison, and when he agrees, he finds he's been double-crossed. No one knows where he is and no one can help him. He meets a man called Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and begins to cook up his latest plan. Unfortunately, this one will take several backup plans and several interactions with the prison's soft-spoken, sadistic warden (Jim Caviezel), as well as lots of fighting and shooting. But what does Rottmayer have up his sleeve?
Is it any good?
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have a good banter and a believable camaraderie in this film. ESCAPE PLAN marks the first full-fledged teaming of the legendary action stars, after their brief moments together in The Expendables and The Expendables 2. Though this movie is no work of genius, director Mikael Hafstrom pitches things just right, and the two actors are used to best advantage: loose, charming, and not too serious.
The movie's two screenwriters cook up just enough puzzle pieces to keep brains busy, but the bulk of the movie concentrates on pure muscle, fighting, shooting, and explosions. (Ray isn't the most subtle escape artist on record.) A colorful gallery of supporting characters helps, ranging from Oscar nominee Amy Ryan to rapper Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. Like the best action movies of this kind, Escape Plan is dumb fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Families can talk about the movie's over-the-top violence. Does any of it seem too gruesome or disturbing for this kind of story? What is the reaction the movie is hoping for?
- What is the appeal of these kinds of larger-than-life action movies and action stars? Why have people traditionally flocked to Stallone and Schwarzenegger movies?
- In theaters: October 18, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: February 4, 2014
- Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caviezel, Sylvester Stallone
- Director: Mikael Hafstrom
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 116 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence and language throughout
- Last updated: September 26, 2019
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