In the words of the great poet Macklemore, let's do some simple addition: "The Expendables" and "The Expendables 2" were box office hits. Sylvester Stallone rounded up his Planet Hollywood partners Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis and convinced them to cameo in the first movie, beefing up (no pun intended; well, maybe) their roles in the sequel and of course uniting all of them with the various action stars of the '80s, '90s and Walmart DVD bins near the checkout aisle. To recap: box office hits.
But this year kicked off with a series of duds from various "Expendables" trying to go it alone: Arnold in "The Last Stand," Jason Statham in"Parker" (which at least had Jennifer Lopez in her underwear) and Sly in "Bullet to the Head," which was one of the lowest opening wide releases of 2013 thus far. Bruce scored some cash with another "A Good Day to Die Hard," but it carried with it the sting of being the worst reviewed "Die Hard" movie ever.
Which makes "Escape Plan," the prison break movie that formerly went by the name "The Tomb," a unique proposition. Is it more "Expendables" less a few dudes, or just two standalone "Expendables" stuck together? There was concern once upon a time that after "Marvel's The Avengers," audiences wouldn't want to go back to seeing the heroes without the big bang of the entire team. "Iron Man 3" proved that theory to be incorrect. Can "Escape Plan" rescue these dudes from The Curse of the Standalone Expendable?
Arnold plays a guy stuck in a high-tech prison that he designed. Stallone, of course, is the hardened criminal who teams up with him to plot a (wait for it) ESCAPE PLAN! (Not to be confused with The Dillinger Escape Plan).