Remember Escape Plan, the 2013 film starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger as two guys trying to break out of an inescapable prison? Well, you'd be forgiven if you don't. While the pairing of Stallone and Schwarzenegger as full-blown co-stars for the first time was notable, the film kinda just came and went, earning mixed reviews and making most of its money on the international market while domestic audiences often overlooked it.
Even if you forgot, though, Sylvester Stallone didn't. He's back this year with an Escape Plan sequel, and this time he brought a Guardian of the Galaxy along for the ride.
Escape Plan 2: Hades features Stallone's return as engineer and security consultant Ray Breslin, who's made it his life's work to ensure that the toughest prisons in the world are locked so tight that no criminal can ever escape them. To do this, he embeds himself and his crack team of experts in the prison system itself, find the weaknesses, then work to correct them. As the old action movie saying goes, though, this time it's personal.
After a member of his team winds up in a high-tech prison known as Hades, where some of the world's most dangerous and most valuable prisoners are housed, Breslin is determined to get him out while he still can. Hades, you see, isn't just a supermax hellhole from which there is seemingly no escape. It's also a place where the sadistic guards have organized an elaborate fight arena to pit prisoners against each other. With the clock ticking, Breslin makes a plan, and calls in an old friend (Bautista) to add some extra muscle to the job.
Yes, the plot is formulaic, and the sci-fi angles (forcefields, gadgets, etc.) are only there in glimpses in the trailer, but this could still turn out to be a good bit of fun. Stallone always relishes trying to prove he's Still Got It at 71, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Plus Bautista, fresh off his role in Avengers: Infinity War, gets another chance this year (along with the more high-profile Hotel Artemis) to show us once again that he's much more than Drax Destroyer.
Escape Plan 2: Hades arrives on Blu-ray and digital June 29, with a third installment in the series already in development.