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THIS WEEK: The first true team-up of Stallone and Schwarzenegger (after the latter’s cameo in THE EXPENDABLES) as they try to break out a secret, “escape-proof” prison.
- Great intro scene. Builds tension, raises a ton of questions and then answers them.
- Effects and set design–pretty believable and cool-looking. The guards all wear full-face black plastic masks (I thought they were robots from the previews but unfortunately they’re not) and the prison cells don’t have bars–they’re clear! Which means things can get pretty embarrassing. Stay out of jail, kids.
- Nice seeing “Ah-nold” in action, even if he’s dressed in jammies and needs a shave.
- Main villain, played by Jim “Jesus, Person Of Interest” Caviezel, was the guy you love to hate. Quiet, understated and a complete a-hole.
- Twisty plot: Who’s a double-crosser? Who’s a stoolie? Who’s lying? Who’s not who he appears to be? Keeps ya guessing.
- Stallone fights a lot. Arnold carries his trademark big gun, but it takes forever and he’s wearing lame prison clothes, sporting an old man white beard.
- No prison shower scenes, sex, rapes or male nudity…thank God!
- Two or three genuine funny/chortle out loud to break up the downbeat scenery, torture, violence and blood and stuff.
- Only two decent-looking babes, and they barely get screen time. No female nudity. All testosterone.
- Stallone is secure enough to age naturally and not get a bunch of plastic surgery. But maybe he should.
- Suspend your disbelief…Guys are either expert marksmen or clumsy clods when the script calls for it.
- The only time I’ve ever seen this credit: “Drama Coach for Mr. Schwarzenegger.” WTF? Why does Arnold suddenly get a “drama coach”? Didn’t he cause enough drama as governor getting caught having illegitimate kids with his maid? Or did he forget how to act as another character after playing the guy who financially ruined “Cal-ee-phone-ya” for two terms? Bizarre. (SNL, there’s your next hit skit idea.)
- Purists and those who think too much may have issue with some of the plot threads and the way everything tied up neatly. Thankfully, I ain’t one of those people.
RENT IT. It’s not something you need to rush out to see now or appreciate on the giant screen. But it’s still a couple hours of escapist fun that does keep you guessing and in suspense for awhile. And that’s pretty good for a buck or two.
P.S.: How about an original art commission from Pascale to hand on your jail cell wall? Girlie or guy pinups, he’s open. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes or Mike Pascale or the people of Calyfonya. Look for Bru’s future all-time holiday classic movie, “Jingle All The Way To The Bathroom.” In theaters never.