Mikael Håfström puts together a thriller on a prison break from a high security prison in an undisclosed part of the world. The person who is planning the escape is Ray Breslin(Sylvester Stallone). As luck would have it, he has help from another inmate Emil Rottmayer(Arnold Schwarzenegger). How did Ray end up in a high security prison? The answer is simple. It is his own doing! Don't get me wrong. Ray is not a criminal. This is what he does for a living. He gets into a prison as an inmate. Then breaks out of it and lecture the authorities. about the security flaws. He has even written book on prison security. What a lousy job! Apparently it pays well. Otherwise, how can he afford a fancy office, good suits and expensive gadgets?
In the first 20 minutes, Mikael Håfström successfully captures our attention after he is not able to sustain the first impressions. We know the director is establishing Ray's profession and the new job in the first 20 minutes. He shows us what Ray does in the prison and walking out. Then he lets Ray puts it all together for the authorities. The conversation between Ray and his colleagues with meaningful looks and raised eyebrows makes it looks like a thriller with an interesting treatment. But as soon as Ray gets trapped in the high security prison as part of a new assignment and Rottmayer shows up, the movie takes a dive. It is difficult to make thrillers when set in confined space. There has to be a lot of things happening to make it really engaging which is missing. At the same time, Mikael Håfström is not able to capitalize on the crowd pleaser scenes especially when Schwarzenegger picks up the machine gun in the climax. The movie unintentionally provides you entertainment when Ray explains why he has chosen this profession.
It was an year ago we saw all the action stars from the 80s having fun on the screen mocking themselves while giving us our money's worth. Both Stallone and Schwarzenegger were part of that franchise. So when we see them together, we expect a lot of funny one-liners and fireworks. In both these departments, the movie draws a blank. The one-liners aren't funny enough even though the veterans tries to taunt each other. As it is all about a prison break, there is no action except in the climax.The only person who manages to capture our admiration is Jim Caviezel's Warden Hobbs. He is calm and detached. How he shows this without hamming is interesting to watch.
Wait for the DVD if you are a Sly/Arnie fan.