Escape Plan: The Extractors
review by Bobby Blakey
Behind the scenes clip
Red Band trailer
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 in 2013. After the success of the film Stallone returned to the series with the sequel Escape Plan: Hades in 2018 that saw the return of 50 Cent as well as the addition of Dave Bautista and Jamie King. Now they are all back again alongside new additions Devon Saw, Max Zhang, Daniel Bernhardt and Harry Shum Jr. for the third chapter of the franchise Escape Plan: The Extractors with 15 Minutes and 2 Days in the Valley director Jon Herzfeld in the director seat. Could this latest entry bring anything new and fresh to the franchise or should it have stayed locked up?
Escape Plan: The Extractors follows security expert Ray Breslin who is hired to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul from a formidable Latvian prison, where Breslin’s girlfriend is also captured. Now he and his team must pull off a deadly rescue mission to confront their sadistic foe and save the hostages before time runs out. I had a blast with the original film but never expected this to be a franchise series. Despite getting the home entertainment treatment, I actually enjoyed the overall nature and action of the second one, but was bummed that Stallone was not given all that much to do. So going into this entry I was ready for the action but curious if it was going to be more of the same despite its promotions.
Thankfully this one is more of a Stallone movie with a more ensemble cast situation. The ending to the previous left it open to what I thought was going to continue into this story, but instead we get something that connects back to the original film in a simplistic, but effective way. While it is pretty buy the numbers in story it works and reminded me more of the 80s / 90s action flicks that I love so much. They have infused a variety of action given each character
their own moments to shine. Bautista isn’t here as much as I might have liked, but he brings the pain with a great gun sequence and a fun fight sequence against the actor that is also his real life stunt double.
Stallone has a grizzled nature to him now that he is older, but can still kick ass with the best of them. He clearly likes this character and is really looking to bring something to the role unlike a lot these days that just phone it in. He has passion for every role he takes and I applaud him for always trying to make it something special even when it doesn’t work. Here he is the glue that holds it all together and gets the chance to throw down in a way that is sure to please fans. I was also glad to see Devon Sawa here in the role of the bad guy. He has a sinister nature to him that just works and holds his own with Stallone like a champ.
My favorite of the film though has to be the addition of Ip Man 3 and Master Z: Ip Man Legacy star Max Zhang. He is just too cool for the room and offers up his expected awesome martial arts action, but also just a calm and intense presence to the character that is just too fun to watch. While this is far from a perfect film it brings old school action to the franchise that makes it stand out more than I expected. I doubt we will get any more chapters and this one feels like it wraps up the Breslin character nicely, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t watch more of them.
In addition to the film this release will include commentary, interviews and a featurette that take you behind bring this action film to life. Step behind bars and grab your copy of Escape Plan: The Extractors when it hits digital, Blu-ray and DVD on July 2nd from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.