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Escape Plan trailer

Remember there was gonna be that movie THE TOMB starring both Stallone and Schwarzenegger? Now it’s called ESCAPE PLAN and IGN has the trailer:

What do you think? I think it looks promising. Not humorless but not a corny joke-a-thon like an EXPENDABLES, cool high concept premise, good supporting cast. And Stallone gets to work with 50 Cent after the internet shamed him out of casting him in THE EXPENDABLES, but before he follows Robert DeNiro into a series of gloomy interchangeable DTV thrillers.

ESCAPE PLAN is directed by Mikael Håfström, a Swede who previously did DERAILED (haven’t seen it) and 1408: AN EVIL FUCKIN’ ROOM (pretty good). One of the writers did ROAD HOUSE 2, the other MIRROR MIRROR.

thanks to Jim Newberry for telling me this was up

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

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90 Responses to “Escape Plan trailer”

  1. It looks good, but I am slightly underwhelmed by it. Mostly by the look of the prison. The poster makes it look like some kind of weird as CUBE type of thing, but then it’s apparently just an empty factory building with some glass boxes in the middle of it. Kinda reminds me of HBO’s OZ visually. But yeah, I’m gonna watch it. (Sooner or later. I still have to watch EXPANDABLES 2, THE LAST STAND and BULLET TO THE HEAD.)

  2. Well I enjoyed BULLET TO THE HEAD and THE LAST STAND for what they were, decent pseudo-throwbacks so yeah I’ll go see this. (More than EXPENDABLES 2 in fact, which I remember giving a decent review.) Props to them casting Jesus Christ as the villain.

    Speaking of which off-topic, I used one of my movie passes on NOW YOU SEE ME. That was actually a fun heist picture, if not a remarkable or memorable one. Liked the opening vignettes introducing the members of the heist team, then rest of the movie it becomes a live-action Lupin III with (real) protagonist FBI agent Mark Ruffalo trying to stop them (but falling quite short) with Tom & Jerry antics. And like most heist movies, you have to accept several logic gaps and questionable character decisions and timing of everything and how one or two things don’t exactly make sense in reflection. But that’s to be expected.

  3. Dikembe Mutombo

    June 27th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    The main thing I’m getting from this is that Arnold looks badass with grey hair. Since he’s a guy whose appeal has always relied on being cool looking, he should embrace his grizzled old man-ness more.

    Hope the movie’s cool. THE TOMB was a better title.

  4. Am I really the only one who thinks that ESCAPE PLAN is a better title than THE TOMB? THE TOMB sounds like a horror movie about mummies.

  5. I think The Escape would be a doper title. Minimalism.

    I liked Last Stand. Waiting for DVD for Bullet.

    This could be fun. The aesthetic / production design seems too bright and too multi-chrome, kind of a washed out Michael Bay palette. I dig the casting. I’d like to see Stallone get back to something more dramatic.

  6. Glad I could contribute, Vern! :D

    I’m excited for this one, it just seems like something a little different, and I’m glad Sly and Arnold have just said “Fuck it, we always wanted to work together so let’s just do movies together for the next 20 years until we’re dead.”

  7. Darth Irritable

    June 27th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Arnold’s performance here seems like he’s shaken off some of the ring-rust from The Last Stand.

  8. Anybody here going to see WHITE HOUSE DOWN? I was ready to write it off because, you know, it’s a Roland Emmerich film, but a lot of reviews are praising it’s classically shot, 90s style action and Renny-Harlin-esque ridiculousness. Griff should enjoy it, at least.

  9. “Griff should enjoy it, at least.”

    not saying I wouldn’t, but what about it reminded you of me?

    anyway I love that 1408 movie, this looks like it has some potential, I wonder if those mask faced guards are a THX 1138 reference?

  10. I’d kinda like to see WHITE HOUSE DOWN, but I gotta save money for PACIFIC RIM, so I’ll wait for blu ray

  11. I’m seeing WHD tomorrow. You owe me.

    (Well Vern I’m sure will review WHD too because he’s not going to pass up a DIE HARD clone. Hell he did OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, so why not this too?)

  12. Griff: You often mention how much you love 90s blockbusters and a lot of reviewers have been calling this a throwback to that type of film. Incidentally, people using the term “throwback to the 90s” makes me feel extremely fucking old.

  13. you read the AV Club review didn’t you?

  14. Knox Harrington

    June 28th, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I just can’t see Jamie Foxx playing the President. There’s absolutely nothing presidential about the guy. But hey, this is Emmerich we’re talking about.

    Didn’t he used to be at least half decent as a filmmaker? Universal Soldier and Stargate were good. Independence Day was okay. The stuff he’s done over the last decade or so don’t even qualify as films. 10 000 BC? 2012? Those weren’t movies. Those are just extended effects shots. At least Michael Bay still makes an attempt at having some semblance of a story in his movies.

    As for Sly and Arnie, I hope they make tons of movies together. They can be like the new Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. I’d love to see them in a World War 2 asskicker.

  15. Well I caught WHD. I think I’ll hold most of my thoughts until Vern reviews it, but I’ll be honest: This might as well have been OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN but re-released under a new title.

    OK sure a different element is the buddy movie plot, but honestly I don’t think they exploited that as much as they could/should’ve and actually stand out from OHF.

    Knox – I seem to remember at one point Arnold was going to do a WW2 movie with Randall Wallace directing.

    If I remember the summary right, would’ve been set in 1945, the war is almost over, the Nazis in Germany are doing their apocalyptic scorched Earth policy with land and people (especially those in the shattered remains of the military who might want to surrender or desert) and Arnold and his little German squad in the Alps capture some Allied airmen. They’re ordered to execute them, Arnold refuses, and they basically have to fight their way to Switzerland (I think) to escape.

    I might’ve gotten the project details wrong, but honestly I thought that would’ve been an interesting movie both in plot and well give Arnold a different (awesome) sort of action hero role to play with.

  16. So now the new TERMINATOR movie is a reboot which makes Franchise Fred sad. I really wanted to see how they tried to tell a TERMINATOR 5 story.

  17. RRA: I think the WW2 story involved some children too, which initiates the mutiny. It sounds like an awesome story and one I hope he gets to do. As far as the new TERMINATOR I hope it’s an origin story as bandied about before. Arnold as the guy the T’s are based on would make a good enough story I think.

  18. Franchise Fred – There was that recent report about how the new Terminator (allegedly Dwayne Johnson, but I don’t believe that) going back in time to kill Sarah Connor’s parents in the 1950s/60s. This is retarded, but I like the idea of a period piece Terminator picture.

    Its interesting Paramount claiming they’re doing a new “standalone” trilogy of Terminator pictures starting in 2015. (That summer gets more and more crowded.) Deadline however reported that in 2019, James Cameron gets the Terminator copyright back.

    onthewall2983 – Honestly that would be the only way you can actually bring back Arnold as old as he is because will believe he’s the same Arnold of T2 or T3. Maybe he’s the sheriff or drifter or ex-German soldier or washed-up former Hercules movie actor (like Arnold’s idol Reg Park) who has to protect the Connors?

  19. Guys, makeup and cgi can make Arnold look like the terminator again. He was already aging in T3 and they used digital magic. They use it on certain female starlets too which is a sad commentary on audiences judging women who are lovely to begin with, but for a sci-fi franchise 30 years on it’s acceptable.

    Actually go

  20. Guys, makeup and cgi can make Arnold look like the terminator again. He was already aging in T3 and they used digital magic. They use it on certain female starlets too which is a sad commentary on audiences judging women who are lovely to begin with, but for a sci-fi franchise 30 years on it’s acceptable.

    Actually going back further makes the most sense for the franchise. Eventually the terminators would have to go back to biblical times like that Mad TV sketch.

  21. I only caught the middle third of the last Terminator movie while it was on basic cable. From what I’ve heard the entire thing wasn’t very good. It’s a real shame too, because every since I saw the first film, I wanted to see a Terminator set in the post-apocalyptic future. I think abandoning the time travel conceit was a good idea. The problem seemed to be the execution.

  22. Rbatty – I remember seeing T2 as a kid, that opening prologue in the future and afterwards I truely thought T3 was going to be set in the future wars.

    I think SALVATION had problems from being over-developed, if you will. I think that Worthington character had a solid story to it, in fact take away the Terminator connection it could’ve been a terrific sci-fi adventure in itself. Anyway I’ve read somewhere that originally John Connor wasn’t going to show up until the very end in a glorified cameo. And that would’ve been appropriate because with that Worthington character, since its really his story.

    But then Christian Bale got involved and before or after that decision, they decided to enlarge Connor’s part. Except SALVATION isn’t really his film and its so painfully obvious. If it was just from Connor’s perspective and just been from his end, yeah that would’ve been better. But they had made a decision not to do that, and that was that. Almost reminded me of Tim Burton’s first BATMAN film where Batman was the supporting actor in his own picture.

    Then again if I remember right, SALVATION had a completely different ending before it got leaked and the Internet threw a pissy fit for some reason. In retrospect I don’t know if that original ending would’ve made the movie better, but conceptually its more interesting.

  23. That ending would have been a travesty. It would basically have been saying that all the years Sarah Connor spent training her son to become mankind’s savior were a waste of time because any dickhead can step in off the street and do the job.

  24. Good point.

  25. I saw TERMINATOR SALVATION in theaters and haaaaaaaaaated it, especially it’s “post apocalyptic open heart surgery out in the desert” ending, fucking hell was that stupid

  26. I think the problem is everyone thinks they want to see the future robot war movie but really it’s not very dramatic. What is it besides some robot shooting? Cameron was smart to make that the backstory and not the, uh, frontstory.

  27. It would be like any other war movie. You can’t tell the story of the entire war, so you tell a compelling story set during the war. SALVATION’s problem was not that a robot war is inherently undramatic, but that they told a muddled and pointless story within that war.

    I still think the plot should have been the Terminators are trying to kill teenage Reese so he can’t go back in time and father John, so John has to protect him without letting on why. The role reversal would be interesting, and it would let us see the Reese/John relationship develop.

    Or there’s a meatbot and a Helena Bonham Carter computer and some Transformers and a submarine for some reason. Either or.

    Christ, that movie just had no idea what it was doing.

  28. Knox Harrington

    June 29th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    The Terminator franchise should just be laid to rest for the next 20 years or so. Or forever, for all I care. Not a single Terminator movie has been any good post-T2. And I’ll say the same for that mediocre TV show. All this shit just further dilutes what was once a respected name. Same thing happened to Alien.

    But hey, nothing we can do is gonna stop this runaway train. I just think that if you have to “reboot” Terminator, then fully commit to actually rebooting it. Drop the forced Arnie cameo and all the slavish adherence to franchise continuity. Get a good leading man to be your new killing machine and convince us that your take on the story is actually worth seeing. Create your own iconography, instead of leeching off of two great movies that were made decades ago.

  29. there are so many movie franchises that were mishandled, it’s a shame they can’t all be Back To The Future (or Nolan’s Batmans) and have three great movies that tell a complete story and have no need for further sequels, in my opinion, with very rare exceptions you should not make more than 3 movies

    in a perfect world…

    Terminator 3 would have come out sometime before the end of the 90’s and have been a prequel/sequel (at the same time?) showing John Connor’s victory against Skynet and ending with him sending Kyle back in time

    Ghostbusters 3 would have come out around 1995 or so and had the Ghostbusters venturing into hell, defeating the Devil himself and then opening a worldwide franchise (God that would have been such a perfect ending, just imagine a montage of Ghostbuster locations all over the world)

    Alien 3 would have been about either Xenomporhs on Earth in a Blade Runner esque city or the xenomorphs’ home planet

    and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull never would have happened

  30. They absolutely need to make BACK TO THE FUTURE IV. 2015 is coming up. They should send a kid (Doc’s new assistant) back to 1985, where he messes something up from the first movie and has to fix it. Cameo from MJF as old Marty, just enough so he’s portrayed honorably to the extent he’s comfortable appearing. I mean, he’s doing a new TV series so a movie cameo should be entirely doable.

    That Zemeckis and co. don’t see this is a shame. But it’s our fault too. We shit on Crystal Skulls and Phantom Menaces (Menaci?) so much that some filmmakers would rather not risk telling more stories than possibly tell one that people don’t like. That’s not conducive to making art.

    And by we I mean the other Internet haters and ungrateful audiences. We here like our CRYSTAL SKULLs and encourage our favorite artists. This kind of thinking also led to [Redacted] AND ROBIN, people. Never forget, you asked for that when you rejected [Redacted] RETURNS and embraced [Redacted] FOREVER. Never forget.

  31. Mr. Majestyk – YES! That would be fascinating, Connor becoming a surrogate father figure for Reese…even though the latter is his biological father. God that would be so weird and interesting. Better yet, we could even have an awkward scene (later after Connor gave him that photo of his mom) where he catches Reese masturbating to it.

    Griff – Honestly, if James Cameron had his choice in the matter….there never would’ve been another TERMINATOR movie again after T2. You all remember his original ending for T2 which as an ending to T2 it didn’t really work even though conceptually I thought it was optimistic and well-meaning. (Showing future John Connor’s face in contrast, from scarred gritty soldier to babyface politician*.)

    I just don’t think Cameron really wanted to deviate from that conclusion, and really unless he suddenly was hit with an awesome twist or idea, that was it. And really in retrospect, he was right.

    *=How John Connor’s campaign spinned him going from child terrorist and buddies with cop-killing robot to actually getting elected is something though that makes zero sense. Only in California…

    Fred – Once upon a time I thought it really would’ve been amusing to remake BTTF but instead of 1985-1955, its 2015-1985. But after HOT TUB TIME MACHINE already did that, yeah I got nothing.

    And you’re right about those [redacted] movies. Isn’t it interesting that when [redacted] FOREVER came out, it was generally considered better than [redacted] RETURNS, but now general consensus is the other way. For all the whineyness people had with [redacted] RETURNS at the time, its aged very well. Possbly because for a summer blockbusters, it’s just insane. Insanely inspired sure, but nuts still.

  32. Oh and because I was bored, I looked up the movie schedule for 2015 so far on Wikipedia with director (or star) attached:

    The Fantastic Four reboot (Trank)
    Cinderella (Branagh)
    Assassin’s Creed (Fassbender)
    The Avengers 2 (Whedon)
    The Inside Out (Docter)
    Man of Steel 2 (Snyder)*
    Terminator 5 (Arnold)
    Jurassic Park IV (Trevorrow)
    Independence Day 2 (Emmerich)
    Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (Ronning & Sandberg)
    Ant-Man (Wright)
    Peanuts cgi cartoon movie
    Finding Dory (Stanton)
    Hunger Games part 3 part 2 (Lawrence)
    Kung Fu Panda 3

    Pretty stacked year already and that’s just 2 friggin years away. We’ll see what else gets crammed in there.

    *=Not announced yet, but rumors say that’s happening for ’15.

  33. I predict that by “reboot” they just mean that TERMINATOR will be a sequel that picks up later with new characters other than the Connor family. Like FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE. But better 3D.

    I don’t think they should do it. But since it’s Annapurna Productions they should try to convince Kathryn Bigelow to do it. That would be funny.

  34. RRA, not a remake. Part IV that takes place in a 2015 that didn’t turn out the way they imagined, going back to a 1985 that respects the continuity and timeline. It only works in 2015.

    Also original Jennifer is back.

  35. Vern, I hope so because it defeats the whole point of a franchise if they keep starting over. Unless its A NEW BEGINNING, NEW NIGHTMARE or NEW FAST NEW FURIOUS.

  36. All those sequels and still no JAWS 19.

  37. I also forgot for ’15:

    Star Wars Episode 7 (Abrams)

  38. Mr. M, as a remnant of Biff’s alternate timeline, Max Spielberg decided not to go into the family business of directing. 1997 should have seen JAWS 8 win the Oscar and put TITANIC out of business.

  39. The Original... Paul

    June 30th, 2013 at 5:13 am

    I haven’t watched and won’t watch the trailer – they give so much away nowadays that I prefer to go into movies cold – but I really like the premise of this one. Sounds like they’re doing what they SHOULD have done with “The Expendables” in terms of tone. Seriously, if you get a bunch of big action stars together in the same movie, the absolute last thing I want to see from them is a bunch of stupid unfunny in-jokes about how they’re big action stars in the same movie.

  40. I know Franchise Fred has to defend the continuation of any movie franchise, but sometimes there’s something nice about having a story end. This is especially true of Back to the Future. Those movies came to a final resting spot. It would be hard to start the series up again, and not just because it has been nearly thirty years since the first one came out. If they want to continue the series, then they should do so through television or video games. (The BttF video game they released a couple years ago is pretty great if you’re into adventure games). But there’s something about making a trilogy that seems right. And in the case of the Terminator movies, there wasn’t anywhere to go after the second movie. Most everything had been solved. In fact, they had to rehash T2 in order to make a third movie.

    For some reason, a new Indiana Jones movie didn’t bother me much (and not just because I really liked the first half of Indy 4). Indiana Jones has always had independent adventures. You didn’t need to know much about the earlier movies to understand what was going on in the later movies. Hell, I would be happy if they ever got a fifth movie off the ground, at least so the Indy 4 doesn’t seem like such an outlier.

  41. Griff’s alternate reality reminded me of back in the 1990s when Indy IV was rumored forever during that period. From Excalibur to Atlantis* to Roswell (which ultimately did happen. Sorta.), though my favorite rumor back in the day was that Indy’s newest villain was going to be his long lost half-brother, to be played by Kevin Costner.

    *=I do wonder if Lucas had that planned at one point because they did make a video game of that.

  42. The thing is I don’t find anything conclusive about BTTFIII. There’s a new time machine! So many new possibilities and places to visit.

    Endings feel arbitrary to me. I think they create a certain feeling of safety like “and they lived happily ever after” and nothing bad ever happened again. This trilogy thing really gives people comfort. I just see it as a missed opportunity to tell more stories. There was a Spielberg quote I used to see before movies back when theaters showed slides before the movie: “Stories don’t have a middle or an end. They just have a beginning that never stops beginning.” I guess that stuck with me.

    This isn’t just a joke where I always defend the franchise. I literally can’t stop thinking of more story ideas. Even after a character dies. (Nicolas Cage will back me up on this.) I guess I have it pretty good right now with all the franchises but the one I want the most to continue is BACK TO THE FUTURE and that’s the one they’ll never do.

  43. Well, there was a BACK TO THE FUTURE cartoon show back in the 90s. It was even pretty good.

  44. “though my favorite rumor back in the day was that Indy’s newest villain was going to be his long lost half-brother, to be played by Kevin Costner.”

    yeah, I remember reading that rumor on imdb around 2006/2007

    I guess instead I should have said “Indy 4 happened in the 90’s” instead of never happening at all, because I think the fundamental problem was simply that they waited too fucking long, Ford was too old, post prequel Lucas was too shitty etc, if Spielberg had somehow managed to fit it in the four year period he took a break between Schindler’s List and The Lost World, say 1995 or so, then it probably would have been awesome

  45. Fred – Yeah but what other stories would be told? Follow those kids on that Victorian rocket train ship into the future? People bitch about the same plot getting remade for sequels, and BTTF basically somewhat redid the same scenes from the first film. (Case in point, always waking to his mother or ancestor or whatever.) The difference was the future or alternate reality or the Wild West.

    Though to be fair, that 2015/1985 idea of retooling BTTF2’s gimmick but to the original film is…not bad.

    Cartoons (like BTTF) can get away with that because, well it’s a cartoon. It’s a TV show where episodic plots and tropes are expected. Case in point the only thing about the BTTF cartoon that I remembered was the fact that almost every episode no matter where or when, you always had Biff/Marty ancestor/descendent at odds against each other.

    Damn you Fred, you almost want me to rewatch the whole BTTF trilogy again now.

    Griff – I remembered reading that in 1995. Yup the old dial-up Internet days!

  46. WOW, that rumor is that old?

  47. I hold the BTTF movies pretty near and dear so any idea of a re-make/reboot/whatever is a bit appalling to me. Fortunately Zemeckis and Bob Gale have the final say in it because it was their movies, and there’s never been any indication that either of them are interested in doing such a thing.

  48. It’s incumbent on the storytellers to tell more stories. That we cannot think of the story doesn’t mean it’s not there. Although I do have ideas. For a franchise about generation gaps it would seem there’s a new story every generation.

    You know what else would be worth doing? A Zemeckis mocap BACK TO THE FUTURE IV. Now THAT would be a reason to use that technology, so a beloved and acclaimed actor with a debilitating condition could work in shorter time frames and still play his classic character.

    But look, if someone came up with an awesome sequel that blows your mind then there’d be no question. It’s only when they don’t come through that people complain they should stop. But I think artists should always try. Avoiding failure isn’t striving for excellence.

  49. Knox Harrington

    July 1st, 2013 at 4:40 am

    It all the depends on the kind of movie, though.

    The kind of films I prefer are usually the ones that you wouldn’t want to see any expansion on. I don’t want to see a sequel or prequel to There Will Be Blood, Take Shelter or The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.

    A big part of why I love them so much is because they are single experiences that stand on their own.

    The problem with so many movie sequels is that they aren’t made for the right reasons, and quite often not even by the original storytellers. Now, sometimes it works out for the better (like the Fast and Furious franchise), but most of the time I’d rather they not even bother. There are so many unused original ideas and stories out there, I’d rather they spend their time, talents and money on that.

    I don’t know, it’s a risk either way, but I’m just tired of seeing sequels that have nothing to contribute.

  50. Finally got around to watching this. I’m actually shocked to see that Arnold seems to be playing Sly’s sidekick. I pictured them as being more of a TANGO & CASH equal billing kind of deal. But I guess Sly is the one with the recent hits, so he gets the starring role.

    I do think it speaks well of Arnold’s humility that he’d take a second-banana role in his biggest rival’s movie. I can’t see Sly ever doing that.

  51. Maybe in the movie Arnie gets the “And” credit, which is pretty much code for “I may be only a supporting actor, but I’m as famous as this movie’s star and get paid (almost) as much”.

  52. I don’t know if its true, but I remember that rumor that on WHERE EAGLES DARE Eastwood was actually paid more than Richard Burton so that he would accept 2nd billing.

  53. Knox, you’re saying you’d rather avoid all sequels to ensure no bad ones get made. I’m saying it’s no loss if the bad ones are made. So what if there’s a movie you don’t like or don’t even want to see? I think it’s a lot easier for us to choose not to see movies we don’t want to see than to ask them to stop making them at all.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater (that one works here, right?) Oh, I’ve got it: Don’t ice skate uphill trying to stop sequels from getting made!

    Although in your examples, the fact that THERE WILL BE BLOOD and TAKE SHELTER are so unfranchisable would only make me more curious if someone did have an idea to do it.

  54. Knox Harrington

    July 1st, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    No, like I said, it’s a risk either way. I just think that a great many sequels are completely unnecessary from a storytelling point of view.

    You said “So what if there’s a movie you don’t like or don’t even want to see?” The issue I have is that those movies I might not like are not always films that stand on their own; they’re linked to films that I love. And sometimes they spoil the films that I love. It happens so often that I just want to talk about the greatness of Alien, but the moment the topic comes up, discussion very quickly moves to the subject of the sequels. It’s so tough to discuss a film on its own when it’s attached to so many others. An so often the other films in a series dilutes the greatness of a single great one. Some people don’t let this bother them, but it bothers me.

    But hey, I hear what you’re saying, and there’s definitely a argument to be made against this way of thinking. I usually just compartmentalize these films into different categories, like for example: T1 and T2 = The real Terminator movies. T3 and Salvation = Shitty fan fiction. Now, notice how T2 (a sequel) is in my good books, but that’s because it’s one of the rare sequels that was made for all the right reasons.

    As for those unfranchisable movies that I like so much… If Take Shelter miraculously made a billion dollars at the box office, you can bet your sweet nutsack that they’d make a sequel. Not because the story dictates it, but because the business side of the filmmaking industry does. And then a wonderful film with a brilliantly open ending might get a shitty and unnecessary follow-up. Granted, it might get a great follow-up, but I’m not always sure it’s worth the risk. I just think it’s important to consider that once what happens after the original film’s ending is no longer in the viewer’s imagination but instead set in stone in the form of a sequel, your view of that original film and the way it was left is changed forever. It might lead to greatness (like Linklater’s Before Sunrise sequels) or it might taint our memories of the original (like the Matrix sequels) forever.

  55. Knox, maintaining a relationship with a movie is a personal thing. I see plenty of examples of what you’re describing, where people cannot help but color their view of the original based on what’s come next. In the case of FAST AND FURIOUS, the original is now way better because it lays in all this history that pays off in the sequels, details that were never planned to pay off but now have much more dramatic weight.

    Funny enough, despite being Franchise Fred I do not take any sequel as canon. It’s just another experiment. The ones I like become part of my story, and they can also undo mistakes (like “killing” Letty in FF4) down the road. I would say as important as it is to empower creators to tell more stories and give them the freedom to fail, it is also important, perhaps more important, not to give them to power to taint our personal relationships with previous movies.

    I like CRYSTAL SKULL but it doesn’t undo RAIDERS. A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD certainly doesn’t undo DIE HARD. MATRIX is a funny one because I think the sequels perhaps reveal some flaws in the original people overlooked, or gave them too much credit for having a master plan. That can be a slap in the face.

    Also, I’d argue that T2 wasn’t made for all the right reasons. I think Cameron has even said he just rehashed the original with better effects, and that it was pointless since the original established the whole circular timeline. Still glad he did it and glad they did THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES.

  56. I side with Fred. I’ve said this before: Psycho is in my top 5 of all time, and they could make 50 more crappy sequels, remakes, and a Saturday morning kids’ show, and it wouldn’t matter. I don’t want people to make bad sequels and reboots, but look at Rocky Balboa or the Avengers version of Hulk or New Nightmare. Second (or 10th) chances can pay off.

  57. The Original... Paul

    July 1st, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Oooh sequel discussion. Lemme see.

    “The Matrix”… I really liked the first film, hated the second one, nad thought the third one rectified a few mistakes that the second one made and was actually ok. The fact that I didn’t like the second one didn’t take away from the first one for me. I had no trouble separating the two in my mind.

    “The Terminator”… y’see, the third of these films (I never saw #4 and have no plans to, given the reviews it’s had) was so charmingly stupid, I actually have quite a lot of affection for it. Certainly doesn’t take away from #1.

    “The Thing”… I didn’t think the remake was half as bad as anybody said. That said, I really dislike the original film (the 50s version) and Carpenter’s film is one of my all-time favorite movies. So I would be quite happy if the 50s film didn’t exist; and as far as most people I know are aware, it doesn’t (and I for one am not likely to bring it to their attention any time soon.)

    “Die Hard”… a weird instance of a film series that gets worse and worse with every successive iteration, although honestly I think most of Die Hard 4 is actually preferable to every bit of Die Hard 3 that takes place after Simon Gruber is introduced. I haven’t seen the latest “Die Hard” film, and again, no plans. None of them take away from the original film for me, but there’s a reason why my idea of film hell is infinite Die Hard sequels. I will probably keep watching “Die Hard” every Christmas on TV until I die. I doubt that will be the case for any of its sequels.

    If there was a film that really turned me off the previous iterations that I’d actually really liked, it would probably be “X3”. To see all of the characters I’d liked in the previous films have the soul just sucked out of them like that… I hated it. I really, really, really hated it. A lot of fans of the comics cite the waste of a great story arc as the reason why there was such a huge disappointment in this film, but for me it was simply that they got so many of the previous films’ characters back, played by the same actors, but every single one of them is… changed. I didn’t like these people any more. It was like being stuck in a Bodysnatchers movie, where you start to realise that everybody you’ve grown up with and liked has suddenly been replaced by soulless clones.

    The absolute worst, for me, would have to be the movies that killed off any hopes I had for a franchise that I kinda loved because of their first / second installments. That, to me, is the worst: you have a brilliant opening movie that should be the start of a truly great series, but the subsequent instalments just don’t “get it”. I don’t get the same resentment over a film like “Die Hard” because who the heck ever thought a sequel to that entirely self-contained movie could ever work? But “The Matrix” was set up for a great sequel, and instead we got “Reloaded”.

    I guess that’s where I’m at… a bad sequel won’t hurt the original movie, for me. But if it’s something that I wanted a great sequel for and was really invested in, it can hurt a lot. That’s all.

  58. This is a good point: that some films seem to be designed with a sequel in mind–particularly those that expend a lot of screen time establishing elaborate worlds and mythologies but providing only provisional payoff followed by a wink and … (Or even an overt “to be continued”). I agree that such movies are more vulnerable to the dreaded “retroactive sequel contamination.”

    I was not super invested in Matrix, but I had a similar experience with X-Files, where there was such a buildup of really good mythology that became progressively more strained, ad hoc, internally inconsistent, unimaginative. A real letdown.

  59. CrustaceanHate

    July 1st, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I don’t think THE MATRIX was well set up for sequels at all. Neo breaks his programming, making the Agents powerless to stop him, and flies off to lead a revolution against the machines. It’s over. He’s won. It seemed like the sequels had to take a couple of steps backwards in order to continue the story.

  60. The Original… Paul – I’m with you on X3.

  61. CrustaceanHate – I thought the exact same thing about The Matrix, so much so that I was legitimately surprised when I saw the second Harry Potter movie in 2002 and saw a teaser poster for The Matrix Reloaded in the theater lobby, I remember thinking “huh? they’re making a sequel?” because yeah, the story was over, Neo had become the “One” and one way or another The Matrix was going down, we did not need to actually see it happen, I think it works much better if you just use your imagination

    I always thought the Wachowskis made a big mistake by doing those sequels, I think they’re careers would have gone better if they hadn’t

  62. A good indicator for if a movie wasn’t planned as a trilogy, is often when they bring back a dead character from part 1, like Agent Smith or Barbossa from the POTC movies, without any real importance for the story, other than “We liked to work with the actor and the fans liked the character”.

  63. The Original Paul – I think the Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a really great analogy to use for X3. These just didn’t seem like they were the same characters from the first two movies. I mean, there’s a lot that’s wrong with that film, but the fact that they couldn’t even get the characters right might very well be the worst part of that movie.

    The Matrix had created a really great world. I haven’t watched the first one in a really long time, but I could see why someone might want to use the playground the Wachowskis created in order to tell more stories. At the same time, I hated the sequel so much that I never got around to actually watching the third movie. I’ve really enjoyed what the Wachowskis have done since they finished The Matrix trilogy, which makes it even more frustrating that they couldn’t get those two movies right.

  64. To be fair guys, if the Wachowskis hadn’t made those MATRIX sequels, somebody else would’ve because Joel Silver and WB would’ve perceived as not milking that “franchise” as leaving money on the table if they didn’t make sequels or whatever. Again its like TERMINATOR 3. Cameron had no urge for a T3, but he didn’t control the rights and the people who controled the rights wanted a sequel. And I’m pretty certain the Wachowskis as nobodies at the time didn’t have clout to own the rights when they made that original MATRIX deal.

    So in an alternate reality, you all could’ve gotten your wishes except its MATRIX 2 by Rob Cohen or whoever and it wouldn’t necessarily be any better. In fact we would be probably bitching about that sequel that we were denied by the fates. Think of all those HALLOWEEN sequels or THE FLY sequel and so forth. (John Carpenter was only involved with HALLOWEEN 2 and 3 because of the money, which at the time was too good to pass up. Same with the Wachowkis with their MATRIX sequel deal.)

    George Lucas only made the SW movies he wanted to make because he owned the rights. Now that Disney owns them, we’ll be soon bitching about the new SW picture we’re getting every year starting in ’15 and assumingly will borrow the inter-connected franchise/mega-franchise model that Marvel pioneered.

  65. Hey, I like THE FLY II!

  66. The Original... Paul

    July 2nd, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Crustacean – I think you’ve got something with what you’ve said about “The Matrix”. How do you follow that and not make it a disappointment? I could absolutely have done without seeing Smith again (he’s not even the main antagonist for most of the first “Matrix” movie – yes, he’s the face of the Matrix, but Cypher is the face of the corrupt humans who made the Matrix possible in the first place) and certainly done without seeing him go through the arc that he did (essentially turning him into a human being, bit by bit).

    Honestly I think they wanted to bring him back for the recognition value, but didn’t know what to do with him once they had him. You can almost hear the scriptwriters’ minds at work: “Hey, people really loved Smith, didn’t they? He was awesome? Well, think how much MORE awesome he’d be if there were hundreds of him! How can this go wrong?”

  67. “At the same time, I hated the sequel so much that I never got around to actually watching the third movie.”

    I never got around to seeing it either and I don’t really plan to, I just kinda like to pretend the sequels don’t exist

    however, if there’s one good thing that came about because of the sequels it’s The Animatrix, I love that, so I can’t bemoan the sequels’ existence too much

  68. CrustaceanHate

    July 2nd, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I don’t hate the sequels, they just feel unnecessary. The second one has some great action scenes and some interesting ideas. Also, Cowboy Curtis takes out an SUV with a samurai sword. I don’t remember too much about the third one (which I saw years after it came out) except endless scenes of mecha suits firing machine guns while Neo gets lectured by Colonel Sanders. THE ANIMATRIX was hit-and-miss, but it proved that there were plenty of great stories to tell within that universe IF you are willing to take a few risks.

    It would have been interesting if they’d introduced a human antagonist who had similarly broken his programming like Neo, but fought just as hard for his right (and the rights of others) to stay plugged into the Matrix. I always thought Cypher’s motivation was really compelling and understandable (“Ignorance is bliss”), but then they had Agent Smith possessing his body or whatever the fuck.

  69. Oh yeah ANIMATRIX. Its concept (lots of short stories from within the Matrix), was MUCH better than its execution IMO. The only two episodes that I still remember where the one with the kids who find a glitch and start playing with it and the one about the athlete, who somehow manages to accidently unplug himself for a moment.

  70. well, there’s really only two GREAT segments in The Animatrix, The Second Renaissance and Beyond, which I will totally go to bat for them both being excellent and the rest are visually nice and pretty entertaining

    but man do I love The Second Renaissance, it makes me want to see a whole movie of that stuff, the idea of referencing real historical events and imagery in a sci fi context is not only brilliantly clever, but it’s also something I haven’t seen done quite that way anywhere else, I get serious goosebumps every time I see it

    and Beyond gives me goosebumps as well, it’s such a stunning atmosphere piece

  71. One of these days I’m gonna do the epic defense of the Matrix sequels. I’ve been meaning to do it forever but last time I watched them I didn’t finish writing them up. They’re not as solid as the first one but they’re completely ballsy and crazy and full of awesomeness. I don’t like the implication above that they didn’t take risks. That claim can’t be defended at all and in fact it’s the risk taking that turned everybody against them. They wanted to see the big battle they imagined and not the other trip the Wachowskis were interested in.

    Griff, I would almost bet money that you would like part 3, which is hugely anime influenced and has some interesting war time politics that people weren’t ready for at the time because they wanted the traditional good guys win by killing the bad guys ending.

  72. Do it, Vern! It seems like we have this discussion five or six times a year, so we might as well get it all out in the open. I’ll be fighting that fight right alongside you.

  73. Knox Harrington

    July 3rd, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    For the longest time I firmly believed that Morpheus was going to be revealed as the true “chosen one”, but then the third film made it so painfully clear that he no longer had any significant role to play in that story anymore. Hey, I can’t blame the sequels for not doing what I wanted them to do, but I was disappointed with how they neglected their most interesting and charismatic character.

    As for The Animatrix… Yeah, that one about the athlete was a real winner. I wouldn’t mind more Matrix movies with new stories and new characters.

  74. Vern, Vern, Vern, please don’t feed the fanboys! Japanese-produced cartoons and comics are no deserving of their own “term” than those of any other country. Is it a drawing that is animated by showing successive drawings one after the other in rapid succession? That’s a cartoon. Is it a story told on paper filled with images more prominent than the words? That’s a comic book. These are universal terms.

    If you want to use “anime”, “manga” and whatever word they use in Japan to describe their “interactive novels” as shorthand insults for poor animation, robot sex and low-rent interactive fiction, fine. Just don’t feed the fanboy delusion that these same forms of artistic expression produced throughout the world are somehow deserving of a unique term for the output of a single country.

  75. Vern, Vern, Vern, please don’t feed the fanboys! Joe Don Baker movies are no deserving of their own “term” than those of any other country. Is it a chubby redneck hitting guys in the face with a 2×4 one after the other in rapid succession? That’s a movie. Is it a story told on paper filled with images more prominent than Joe Don Baker’s mass? That’s a comic book. These are universal terms.

    If you want to use “Walking Tall”, “Mitchell” and whatever word they use in The South to describe their “interactive novels” as shorthand insults for poor animation, Joe Don Baker sex scenes and low-rent interactive fiction, fine. Just don’t feed the fanboy delusion that these same forms of artistic expression produced throughout the world are somehow deserving of a unique term for the output of a single country. Joe Don Baker!

  76. The Original... Paul

    July 3rd, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Vern – I would defend Matrix #3 myself, to some degree. I didn’t think it was GREAT but I think it fixed some of the flaws of #2. But can you really post a decent defence of Matrix #2?

  77. what was I trying to say folks, since I guess it was a little too vague, is there are movies and then there are Joe Don Baker movies, you can just call them “movies” but that would be ignoring all the “special” properties that a man like Joe Don Baker brings to them

    similarly, there’s animation and then there’s anime, you can call anime just animation or cartoons or whatever you like, but that’s ignoring, like it or not, that are certain unique qualities that all anime share, coming from a specific country and their culture, so for simplistic sake, just call it anime

    would it make sense if Vern said The Matrix is “hugely ANIMATION influenced LOL!”? no, it’s not influenced by Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Max Fleischer or Don Bluth, it’s influenced by ANIME, so for simplifies sake, why not call it ANIME? it’s nice, neat, five letter word

    look, clubside, I get it buddy, you’re one of those people that just has a knee jerk negative reaction against it, it happens, you believe it’s nothing but school girls, lazer chargin’ and tentacles (just like comic books are nothing but guys in spandex and capes, amirite?), but since we like to keep things a cut about the average internet discourse here, could you maybe…..lighten up?

  78. I’m pretty sure chris is just trying to jerk your chain, that’s why I didn’t bother to rebut him. obviously if he really believes that there’s no reason to distinguish one specific tradition of animation from another he’s completely wrong.

  79. yeah, I know and I tried to resist responding, but I just couldn’t help myself

  80. Back on Fred talking about keeping the BTTF series going, I really think these two things about the FAST & THE FURIOUS series:

    (1) Obviously Universal will keep that series going beyond Part 7.

    (2) Part 7 will be “end of the road” for Diesel and Walker and so forth. Asides from the fact that they’ll demand big money to stay on a series that keeps making more and more money, really what other stories can you spin with that gang at this point without coming off as just shitty sequelization plotting? They’re doing another heist, somebody else is out to kill them, they’re going for another pardon, whatever. Or maybe they’ll prove me wrong? Its not like Diesel and Walker exactly have a career outside of that series. Maybe they’ll be like the original STAR TREK crew from TV, working the same gigs for decades?

    He’s not in Part 7, but don’t be shocked if part 8 becomes a vehicle for Dwayne Johnson.

  81. Looks a bit more interesting then their last couple of clunkers but not interesting enough for me to go “yeah I’m definitely not going to miss that” either.

  82. well, I loved that 1408 movie, the fact that it’s the same director is enough to get me interested

  83. Remember when I told you a while ago that Sly and Arnie share the same voice actor in Germany? They still do.
    http://youtu.be/AF8eQcplUuU

    (Although to be honest, this time Arnie’s voice sounds higher than usual. As if they did some filter work on it, to make it sound more different than Sly’s voice.)

  84. The Original... Paul

    October 22nd, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    So here we are again. The meeting of two classic eighties’ action stars. Who comes out of it better? And what did the audience think? Read on to see! Minor spoilers are involved, but nothing that will spoil your enjoyment of the film.

    So in the red corner, we have: SYLVESTER STALLONE, AKA Sly. Most recently seen in: “The Expendables”. Dear God.

    And in the blue corner, we have: ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (I think), AKA Arnie, AKA “Why didn’t he keep calling himself Arnold Strong for the benefit of poor Internet commentators everywhere?” Most recently seen in the surprisingly fun “The Last Stand”, and before that in the Governorship of California. (I wouldn’t recommend watching that last one, it’s too long and the ending sucks.)

    So there are our contenders, but what about the movie?

    It is… average to the n’th degree. I gained some enjoyment out of it. Didn’t think it was close to being as good as “Last Stand”; but then I probably liked “Last Stand” more than anybody else here, so take that into consideration. Nor is it close to being as bad as either of the two stars’ worst movies (and each of them has done some howlers). If you like escape movies then you will like this one, somewhat. If you like Arnie especially then this one is worth seeing. If you like Stallone then be assured that while this is nowhere close to his best, this is FAR better than he was in “The Expendables”.

    A bit more detail, spoiler-free… the movie has twists, one of which was so dumb and played so seriously that it kinda annoyed me. But if you’re watching this, it’s probably not for the plot. It’s definitely better at the start than it is at the end. Sly’s character is a bit inconsistent (more on that in a bit) but the main villain is played, with effective creepiness, by Jim Caviezel. He’s a softly-spoken psychopath who’s a convincing enough match for the two protagonists (yeah, Arnie and Sly are strictly a buddy duo in this film). I particularly liked that Caviezel’s character more than holds his own against Arnie and Sly pretty much throughout the film until seconds before his last appearance. Sam Neill, Vincent D’Onofrio and Vinnie Jones are largely wasted, while Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s overacting is thankfully kept to a minimum. Here, he has been stunt-cast as a genius hacker. (Ok, let that one sink in for a bit.) He really, really, really shouldn’t have been.

    As for the rest… the cinematography and scoring are adequate-to-effective. They’re not distractingly bad, they won’t blow you away. The character work of some of the side characters, on the other hand, is below-par. You can’t expect me to feel sorry for the death of a prison inmate when 1) I have no idea what he did to get there, 2) he’s behaved like a vicious thug on at least two occasions that we’ve seen, and 3) everything he’s done in the movie has been a result of either his own anger or his own self-interest. And no, it doesn’t help that Arnie calls him a “good man”.

    There’s not a huge amount of action but this film definitely falls into the same trap as “The Last Stand” when Sly and Vinnie Jones end up fighting. The fight bored me – in fact, with no Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu involved, it’s even less involving than “The Last Stand”‘s final fight was. If you’re going to have two big brawny older guys fight it out, the logical thing to do would be to have them wrestle. The awkwardly-edited fisticuffs does nothing for me.

    So that’s the movie. It has good bits, not-so-good bits, nothing dreadful and nothing really outstanding. It’s just average for me. But what about the stars?

    Well, I’m liking late Arnie far more than late Sly. In both “Escape Plan” and “Last Stand”, I enjoyed his performances because Arnie seems to be motivated, when performing in these movies, by exactly the same thing as I’m motivated by when I watch them: I want to have some fucking fun! And Arnie clearly wants me to have some fucking fun as well. I watched “Escape Plan” with a decent, if rather old, crowd, and I think it’s safe to say that the “Arnie bits” got the most audible reactions. This is not much of a surprise.

    Unfortunately the reason it’s not a surprise is because Sly’s whole character is inconsistent – and Sly is the star of the movie. It actually suffers from the inclusion of both stars because the tone is so uneven. At times it wants to be a full-on Arnie mash-up, complete with cheesy one-liners, “Commando” references, and one quip that shamelessly rips off one of Arnie’s best-known lines from “Total Recall”. And Stallone doesn’t fit into this style of movie AT ALL. My experience of Stallone is that he generally seems to have three basic “modes”, at least as far as his good / great films go:

    – The Professional With The Tragic Past: just what it says. This guy appeared with less-than-consistent returns in films like “D-Tox”, “The Specialist” and “Cliffhanger”. This is my least favorite Sly, for obvious reasons.
    – Karmic Wrecking Ball Sly: the rule-breaking maverick of “Demolition Man” and “Tango and Cash”. This Sly will swear, wisecrack, mock the rules and behave as indecently as possible, breaking down hypocrisy and bureaucracy. This is my favorite Sly persona because, again, he’s strictly in it for my enjoyment.
    – Dramatic Sly: When Sly is challenged, he can really pull off a great performance or two. “Rocky” and “First Blood” would fit into this category, although I’d imagine that “Cop Land” would fit as well (I haven’t seen it, I’m going on what I’ve read). Look, you guys know that “First Blood” is a personal favorite of mine, and it’s ALL down to Sly’s performance.

    The problem I have with modern-day Sly is that of the ones I’ve seen, his characters have almost universally been cut from the mold of Group #1 – the professional with a past. Unfortunately “Escape Plan” fits this mold perfectly. The result is that when he and Arnie team up, Arnie is noticeably more charismatic than Sly. The filmmakers apparently tried to compensate for this by putting in elements of the old wise-cracking Sly, the trouble being that this wasn’t the right movie for that – and as a result, especially early on, his character comes across as something of an unlikeable asshole. He’s also quite inconsistent. What am I supposed to take from this character, what should I feel about him? Why should I sympathise with him? Is he supposed to be a comic figure or a sympathetic one? The film never really makes up its mind, veering from point to point, with nothing substantial for me to latch onto.

    My conclusion: I think an Arnie / Sly buddy movie could definitely work. But “Escape Plan” wasn’t the best movie for those two stars. I’m a lot more enthused about the next Arnie movie than I am about the next Sly one. What I’d really like to see Stallone do is go back to persona #3 and get a role that really challenges him… or just play a cranky old guy, and play it straight. At the moment he isn’t challenging himself, at all, and he does his best work when he’s challenged. I hope he does start getting these kinds of roles again, because what he’s doing right now isn’t working for me.

  85. I disagree Paul. This sold itself as Rambo and Conan in a jailbreak film, and ESCAPE PLAN delivered it and treasured all the tropes and traditions of that formula, a decent supporting cast in all those parts (thug prison guard, sympathetic prison doctor, evil prison warden, enemy turned ally inmate, etc.) Of course like all jailbreak films, there are the logic gaps you have to roll with. Like why this super duper jail, none of the prisoners are apparently ever frisked. Or that all 10 guards or whatever in the surveillance room would all look away from a certain monitor at the same time for the same length.

    I would put this on the same level as THE LAST STAND and BULLET TO THE HEAD as being decent (if not outstanding) exhibitions of both Arnold/Sly’s leading men charm and charisma. Decent enough matinee thrills and humor, Arnold as the comic relief here especially, and that scene at the interrogation room at my whole screening crowd cracking up. That’s classic Arnold right there. Also for some reason, his line after they escape *SPOILER* is funny not because of what he said, but how he said it: “Have a nice day….Asshole!” Regarding a strong supporting cast though, this is more LAST STAND-ish. I mean Jesus Christ as the prison warden? That’s genius stunt casting right there.

    You know call me nuts, but this and TLS…I think Arnold might’ve become a better actor now than he was in his prime. Not so overt as subtle, no longer that Greek statue come alive and the unstoppable force against evil or whatever. He now carries a permanent scowl and looks like he’s been around the block twice. Somehow getting old might’ve actually made him more relatable as a film personality, believe it or not.

  86. I don’t know, but by playing the badass lead in a hit action TV show, Jim Caviezel seems to have left the Jesus label behind years ago.

  87. The Original... Paul

    October 23rd, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    RRA – I agree with you on Arnie. I’m not sure if he’s BETTER exactly, but I think he has a clearer sense of what he’s aiming for right now. The result is that he’s churning out some pretty damn enjoyable performances.

    I don’t exactly agree with you on “Escape Plan” but I think that’s more a matter of subjective preference. (I kinda loved “The Last Stand” despite its flaws, which I was by no means oblivious to, so there’s a lot of subjectivity there.) I definitely enjoyed quite a bit of it (mostly, again, the Arnie moments.) At any rate I’m not going to damn you for enjoying the movie more than I did because, hey, it’s that kind of a movie.

    And I didn’t see “Bullet to the Head” unfortunately, so I can’t judge how good Sly was in it. Maybe that’s the problem… I’ve only seen the worst of his most recent films. I don’t think that his character’s dialogue and arc did him any favours in “Escape Plan” (I mean, he starts off as this sarcastic bastard, who managed to annoy both me and most of the other characters in the film in equal measure; then suddenly pulls the old “dead family” twist, and now we’re supposed to like the guy?) but at least he looked like he gave a shit. I mean, compare that to “The Expendables”, where Sly’s complete and utter disinterest in anything he was doing was so apparent that I found myself just cringing through his scenes. When your lead actor looks as though he can’t even be bothered to emote during his line readings, you have a major problem. Especially when he’s also the director!

    CJ – I gave “Passion of the Christ” a wide berth, so I’m in the somewhat unique position of knowing Jim Caviezel for a lot of roles that he did in other films. Some good, some bad (anybody else see “Angel Eyes”?)

  88. The Original... Paul

    October 23rd, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I’d also add that I might be in a minority of one here, being a guy who actually liked “Angel Eyes”. That film got some horrific reviews after it had come out, but I thought it was good… J-Lo was good, Caviezel didn’t have much to do but did it fine, etc. I didn’t even realise that the twist was meant to BE a twist – it was that obvious from that early – which apparently bothered some people, but not me. It didn’t set my world alight but, just on that one viewing, I have to say that I couldn’t see why it gets so much hate. It’s been a while so I probably missed some stuff, but still… I enjoyed it.

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