Escape Plan 3 comes fairly hot on the heels of Escape Plan 2: Hades, as that came out around this time last year.
However, that film was my worst movie of 2018. So why am I watching No.3? Because it’s the conclusion to a trilogy. And I’ll suffer so you don’t have to… unless it’s actually a GOOD film? And when was the last time Sylvester Stallone, as Breslin, made a good film? Erm… possibly The Expendables 2.
You know the prison built on a ship in the original film? Now, the plan is to build one UNDER the desert… but that’s just mentioned early on before being completely forgotten about. Instead, the prison in question this time, is Devil’s Station, in Latvia, which makes sense of the film’s original full title, Escape Plan 3: Devil’s Station. Now it’s just Escape Plan 3, or Escape Plan 3: The Extractors, depending on the territory.
Devil’s Station is actually an abandoned facility… and for a place that’s abandoned, it strangely has a great deal of functional electric lights.
The baddie this time, is Lester Clark Jr, played by Devon Sawa, who was the lead in Final Destination, I remember. The reason for him having a Breslin beef is a tale of revenge which leads back to Stallone’s character in the original Escape Plan, when he did away with Lester Clark (Vincent D’Onofrio). Yes, they don’t think much of the audience to tie two characters together, so they just use the same full name and add Jr.
He’s kidnapped a big boss’ daughter, Daya (Melise), as well as, along the way, Breslin’s friend, Abigail (Jaime King). Stallone & co. set off to get them both back, etc, etc, etc.
In Escape Plan 3: Whatever The Subtitle Is, there’s actually some decent fight sequences, courtesy of Jin Zhang as Shen, and they’re pretty well directed, too, so you don’t end up with punches happening just off-screen, or too much quick cutting, as you find with a lot of modern movies. Herzfield lets the punches land, and allows the camera enough time to capture the action before moving on to the next cut.
Some random observations:
- There’s an amusing moment where Dave Bautista, whose often more interested in his silly tattoos than anything else, pulls out a BFG (for DOOM fans), or ‘big weapon’ (F’nar! F’nar!) for everyone else, but aside from that, he just uses his fists.
- There’s a flashback to a scene we never saw, in the past, but all it does is see Stallone with dyed black hair. The shorter that scene, the better.
- Daya is constantly looking like a startled bunny, as if she was about to write a novel entitled, “My Life As A Startled Bunny”*. She really is such a wet blanket.
(*old Sean Hughes joke)
- 50 Cent is here to mumble endlessly, again, but then he did nothing else in the second film. In fact, everyone mumbles here, so don’t bother trying to follow the plot unless you have subtitles available, which I didn’t on my review copy. That said, about ‘Fiddy’, basically he has a cameo early on, and is never seen again. He’s meant to be running the operation from the office but… as I say, he’s never seen again.
- The baddies randomly bump off their captives, which is so dumb if you think about it, because it reduces their competitive advantage. Plus, there’s a lot of sidekick baddies whose names are instantly forgettable, so can only be defined by their facial hair and snarling.
- There’s also a hilarious takedown when Shen breaks both arms and both legs in one particular baddie. That’ll take a long time to set in casts, and how will he use the toilet in the meantime?
- And my second favourite death is one person who gets a metal bar stuck through their neck, while another person has their throat slit, but in real life, it’s actually not really possible to strike a fatal blow with such a candid flick of the knife, since you’re unlikely to hit the carotid artery.
- I also liked an amusing moment where two men try and make smalltalk with Shen, “First time in Ohio? … You ever had BBQ?”, but he barely reacts.
Writer/director John Herzfeld also brought us Stallone in 2014’s Collection, which I haven’t seen – and has a title that seems more relatable to a boxset than a single film, but he did bring us 2001’s reasonable 15 Minutes, with Robert De Niro, as well as 1996’s much better 2 Days In The Valley, a stylish noir thriller and the first time I saw Charlize Theron in a movie.
Alas, this film is not quite as terrible as the second one, but it still stinks as much as the sewers Ray’s running around in, trying to find the captives.
Running time: 97 minutes
Release date: July 5th 2019
Studio: Signature Entertainment
Director: John Herzfeld
Producers: Mark Canton, Zack Schiller
Screenplay: John Herzfeld, Miles Chapman
Music: Víctor Reyes
Ray Breslin: Sylvester Stallone
Trent Derosa: Dave Bautista
Shen: Jin Zhang
Daya Zhang: Melise
Bao: Harry Shum Jr
Lester Clark Jr.: Devon Sawa
Abigail Ross: Jaime King
Jules: Lydia Hull
Hush: 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson)
Wu Zhang: Russell Wong
Silva: Daniel Bernhardt
Frankie: Jeff Chase
Ralf: Rob de Groot
Sonny: Holland Herzfeld
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.