Combining two action movie heavyweights like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone should have obvious results at the box office. After all, it’s helped the Expendables franchise rake in some $200 million. But Escape Plan has effectively proved that theory wrong.
The film that reportedly cost $70 million to make only brought in $9.8 million during its opening weekend.
The plot follows Schwarzenegger’s character, Emil Rottmayer, who, as the world’s leading escape artist, is hired to show prisons their security weaknesses by breaking out of them. While in a prison called “The Tomb,” fellow inmate and wrongly accused Ray Breslin (Stallone) recruits Rottmayer to help him escape.
After this, hilarity and fantastic action scenes ensue, or so we would have hoped.
Basically, this isn’t the ’80s or even the early ’90s anymore. What once would have been a cinematic matchup of superhero proportions is now a combo of “seen that before” and “I’ll wait until it hits cable.”
As Jordan Hoffman of newyorkdailynews.com said, “The Governator has found his perfect post-politics description: second banana.”
Escape Plan is no Terminator, it’s no Total Recall, it’s not even Kindergarten Cop. Maybe if this were two or three decades ago, the Stallone-Schwarzenegger mash up would have seen more success. Instead, we are presented with the aging action figures and left wondering whether they should stick with their appearances in the Expendables franchise and various comic cameos they might land on TV.
But some say it’s not all their fault. According to Steven Boone at rogerebert.com both characters “are relentlessly likeable, even when serving up plot and dialogue that would have been trampled on in the writer’s room floor of Knight Rider circa 1985.”
For comparison, watch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s greatest Hollywood moments here.
Miss the golden days of action films? All the leaping from buildings and bazooka blasts you can take are free via FilmOn: