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Escape Plan 2: Hades             review by Bobby Blakey

For years fans had wanted to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger together on film outside of the Expendables franchise and they finally got it in their action flick Escape Plan. Now Stallone is reprising his role along with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as well as new comers to the series Dave Bautista, Xiaoming Huang, Jesse Metcalfe, Jamie King and Alphonso A'Qen-Aten Jackson with The Aggression Scale and Silent Night director Steven C. Miller at the helm, but does it offer up the same action and fun of the original or should it remained locked up?

Escape Plan 2: Hades follows Ray Breslin has organized a new top-notch security force years after he fought his way out of an inescapable prison. But when one of his team members goes missing, Breslin must return to the hell he once escaped from to save his friend from the prison’s brutal human battleground known as Hades. I know a lot of people didn’t like the original film, but I thought it was a blast and have watched it several times. When I heard they were doing a follow-up I must admit that I was disappointed that Arnold wasn’t returning, but the addition of Dave Bautista and Xiaoming Huang was enough to get me stocked to see what was in store. Add the mix director Steven C. Miller whose films I tend to love and I was all in. I will admit that after watching it though that it wasn’t fully the film I expected but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

While Stallone plays a big role here it feels a lot like his Creed role where he is the co-star and here Huang leads the charge. Make no mistake Stallone gets in on plenty of action and is prominent in the film and not relegated to a glorified cameo, but Huang is the one do most of the heavy lifting. Some may have an issue with this, but I was all in being a fan of Huang from films like Ip Man 2 and here he fully brings the bad ass action to the plate turning this film into almost a straight up martial arts flick that I was so surprisingly happy to see. Stallone does a good job with his role, but it looks to be setting up more for him and his team for another chapter after allowing them to kick some ass throughout.

Miller brings his usual gritty style to the film taking it from an old school action flick like the first one and turns it into its own monster. There is some sci-fi elements and aspects that I felt were too far over the top, but it’s clear that they were going all in to do something different. I admit that I missed the old school style, but did love the action so as a whole it managed to deliver more of what I wanted. Fans of the first film will likely be divided due to this one being so different, but I applaud Miller and the crew for not just rehashing the same film. The ending clearly is setting up for another film and I heard that it had already been shot so we will have to wait and see to see where this is headed.

This release not only includes the film, but also bonus content including interviews, gallery, and featurettes that take you behind bringing this film to life. Prepare for a break out and grab your copy of Escape Plan 2: Hades when it hits Digital, Blu-ray and On Demand on June 29th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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