Fierce and Sensitive
Like an enemy panzer division, critics save their most concentrated vitriol for stars such as John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. The latter has endured the negative letter for decades, yet he takes the matter in his stride. A good thing too because Escape Plan 3 AKA Escape Plan: The Extractors felt alive to the world around us and how individuals play tricks on one another. One step to the left or right too late and it's not a lesson learned but a coffin made.
The past has caught up with Ray Breslin (Stallone). Now everything he cares about could be threatened unless he stops the mastermind responsible.
John Herzfeld's film makes an unexpected U-turn from where the previous installment left us. I welcome such non-linear thinking as both directly and indirectly it got the job done. Thus, windows for more sequels remain open if tweaked just right.
Call it bias, leniency or what you will, yet Stallone has proven to be consistently entertaining. Watching a blockbuster bearing his name fills me with the same fascination as those featuring Gerard Butler, Jason Statham and Keanu Reeves. There's an elusive quality of magic being captured. For instance, Stallone made me laugh in Tango and Cash, Demolition Man and Grudge Match.
Overall, Escape Plan 3 hews closer to the spirit of the original 2013 production. It's a testosterone saturated, fully armoured, high flying extravaganza. While critical predictions seem dour, I believe those with an open mind shall have an excellent time at the movies.
Time to rhyme:
You could say I am a fan
of every Escape Plan.
The first was something special
Of that I am partial.
The sequel proved token
Not every follow-up can be broken.
As for the third,
It moved like a bird.
Graceful, quick and neat.
Tailored as one so sweet.
The action was without flaw
Sylvester Stallone shows he's the law.
We got an exceptional twist
which grabs one by the wrist.
It was edited fine
Allowing the gold to shine.
Bautista provided backup and more.
An awe-inspiring presence we saw.
Escape Plan 3 made it to the top
For me it wasn't a flop.
I got caught up in this tale.
The heart mighty as a whale.
Making up for that Rambo debacle.
Sit back and remove the shackle.
(Releases by Lionsgate Premiere and rated "R" by MPAA.)