The Austrian Oak and the Italian Stallion. Two mighty mountains of musclebound man-meat with mouths full of marbles, meeting for one final job... Oh, but it should have been better than this. The first feature-length buddy-up between Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger could have been a cause for global celebration, a last hurrah for two ageing icons sliding gracelessly into their late sixties. Instead, it’s a predictable, shoddy-looking beat-’em-up.
Sly plays Ray Breslin, a consultant hired to break out of US prisons to test their security systems. But when a job turns sour, Ray is forced to turn to grizzled fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer – guess who? – for assistance. Precisely why director Mikael Håfström was picked for this gig remains a mystery: his CV is packed with stodgy horror flicks, and he has trouble marshalling a convincing action sequence. ‘Escape Plan’ would have made a perfect vehicle for, say, a Chuck Norris or even a Jean-Claude Van Damme. But these two redoubtable, enormously watchable old-school heroes deserve better.