Escape Plan 2 is bad. It’s not b-movie “so bad it’s good”, it is just downright bad. It is a an over digitized, low budget, run and gun action flick where the two headliners, Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista have limited screen time. One must think that whatever budget this film had, mostly went to Sly and Bautista. This film was promising. A sequel to the film where audiences finally got a wholistic team-up between Sly and Arnie, busting out of a mysterious prison in a film that was a throwback to 80s masculinity and shored up with an excellent cast.
Then came the announcement of not one, but two Escape Plan sequels. Both lacking Schwarzenegger, but Dave Bautista was added. Bautista has had a rather remarkable career considering his origin. He is a show stealer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and made his way into a James Bond film and had an excellent turn in Blade Runner 2049. Escape Plan 2 acts more like a spinoff than a sequel. While Stallone has limited screen time, he does have a recurring voiceover to remind the audience that it’s still a Stallone movie. But it isn’t. It’s headlined by an Asian martial arts guy, Jesse Metcalf, Jamie King, and 50 Cent. Strike that. He goes by Curtis Jackson now.
The film is overly digital. It looks like it was shot on a cheap digital camera that promises 4K resolution. The effects are bad. They are almost comically bad, looking like they were done with some third-rate computer software. Most of the action shots in the film are close ups that makes one think the camera was stuck in a certain zoom setting.
While the first film wasn’t made to win awards or sell merchandise, it knew exactly what it was and went for it. It was a fun action romp with two of cinema’s biggest action stars from the 80s and 90s. The sequel doesn’t have any idea what it is. The plot isn’t even ridiculous, because it doesn’t make any sense. There isn’t any continuity, there isn’t any motivation, the dialogue is more times than not horrific. To say that Escape Plan 2: Hades is a disappoint is an understatement. It’s just a really bad movie.
Review by Frank Mengarelli