Thursday 27 March 2014

I can't be the only one in the world who likes plaid, man

 Teenage me waited patiently for a Stallone/Schwarzenegger team-up that never happened, and adult me is thinking teenage me would get along fine with the low-budget head-thumping of Escape Plan even if it is a bit slow while adult me probably just wonders why people keep giving Vinnie Jones acting work (adult me has nothing against Jones, it's just that everything he's in, he plays Vinnie Jones).
It used to be I'd get all het up about action films and could argue why Mark L Lester is a better director than Richard Donner because I think action scenes often represent a microcosm of the director's ability - I even sat down and watched the Jet Li/Jackie Chan fight from Forbidden Kingdom 14 times in a row before I thought it safe to deliver the opinion that Rob Minkoff is an okay director, if a bit passive and low energy.  I take action cinema very seriously, and the trashier and more low-budget the film, the more seriously I take it, as big-budget action movies are mostly just meh suffering from overlong second acts that make them unattractive for potential repeat viewing, and to me Escape Plan is a film that often seems like one long second act.  My first thought when the two leads met was "why are they pretending not to know each other?  They met in Expendables." but the film does nothing to capitalise on that kind of self-awareness and plays things very straight - to its detriment, as I think it could have done with acknowledging that both leads have done decent high-concept prison movies already - Stallone in the first half of Tango And Cash, and Schwarzenegger in the first half of Running Man- and concentrated more on soundbites and throwdowns, as what we get is just kind of there - inoffensive, functional and unexceptional.  Adult me thinks it okay, but teenage me would hopefully want a bit more.  I probably should have watched it with booze.

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