Release year: 2013
Director: Mikael Håfström
Screenwriter: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviezel, Faran Tahir, Amy Ryan, Sam Neill, Vinnie Jones, Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson
Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is hired to try to break out of prisons to check their security. When he is hired to test a new maximum securtiy prison, run by Hobbes (Caviezel), something goes wrong and he is cut off from the outside help in form of two associates (Jackson and Ryan).Instead he finds himself forced to get help from inside, teaming up with fellow inmate Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger).
Except for a cameo apperance by Schwarzenegger in Stallone’s Expendeable movies, this is the first time the two great action heroes of the eighties have worked together. Directed by Swedish director Håfström (1408, 2007), this actionpacked movie about a modern day Houdini, excels in the collaboration of two of the worlds biggest action stars. The casting of its leading men is without doubt one of the film’s strongest assets. However, even without its stars, the movie itself holds its ground. It is exciting and at times nerve wrecking, with descent twists.The smaller parts are filled by good actors with nice presence. I particularly enjoyed Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, 2007) and as always Vinnie Jones (Snatch 2000) has a tendency to steal scenes.This could easily have just gone with the flow and tried to survive on the casting alone, but I was pleasantly surprised by the intensity and quality of the story.It is still a movie seen a dozen times before, but with a few nice surprises. Schwarzenegger (The Terminator, 1984) shines, but Stallone (The Expendables, 2010) seems a bit bored and uninspired.
When Schwarzenegger is speaking German in the movie, he is quoting ”The Gay Science” by Friedrich Nietzsche.
Picture copyright: NF films