“This is bigger than any one of us.” This line from Ray Breslin (played by Sylvester Stallone) perfectly summarizes this sequel to the 2013 hit.
The 2013 blockbuster hit, “Escape Plan” from Swedish director Mikael Håfström featured two of the biggest action movie icons in one single film, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film followed the plight of Ray Breslin, a businessman and skilled structure engineer who is best known for being the world’s best escape artist as he tries to break out of “The Tomb” prison facility. This year, Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as Ray Breslin in the second installment of the planned trilogy, “Escape Plan 2: Hades”.
This time, Breslin and his team enter Hades, said to be the world’s most elaborate prison, when one of Ray’s trusted operatives, Shu Ren is kidnapped and held there. Ray assembles a team to assist in the rescue. But unlike all the prisons that he has encountered before, Hades is fully automated and capable of changing shape, making it Breslin’s greatest challenge so far.
The film also stars Dave Bautista, Jaime King, 50 Cent, Jesse Metcalfe, Wes Chatham, Baylee Curran, Lydia Hull, Ashley Cusato and Vincent Young. Directed by Steven C. Miller, the film hits the United States this June 29, 2018, while it screens in Philippine cinemas June 13, 2018.
“Escape Plan 2: Hades” is far different from the first movie in different aspects. One would be it’s storyline. Unlike the first film where Ray Breslin is the one who gets imprisoned and attempts to break out, here in this sequel, he is the one who rescues one of his trusted operatives from the high-tech prison named Hades. Because of this, the film takes quite a lot of it’s time in focusing with Breslin’s protégé Shu Ren (played by Huang Xiaoming), Ray’s trusted operative and his plight inside Hades.
To be honest, he has far more screen time than the rest of the supporting cast (Dave Bautista who is being billed as one of the lead star appears only in the film for less than 30 minutes). This is most likely because the film’s main target audience is it’s Asian market (the first movie wasn’t a success in the United States but was an international box-office success). But to it’s credit, the story of Shu Ren and his brother as they try to survive the prison Hades is quite interesting. There’s some conflict between their characters and they are forced to work together in order to get through the torture they experience in the prison. Like the first movies, there’s a lot of twists and turns in the film that you won’t expect.
Also, compared to the 2013 film, this sequel is packed with more action. From the first scene until Shu Ren and his brother enters Hades, there’s a lot of fight scenes that will surely please action fans. But of course, what everyone’s anticipating is Ray Breslin and Trent DeRosa (played by Dave Bautista) taking down the prison. Though this came out a bit late into the film, this is definitely one of the most fun parts of the movie. Dave Bautista’s scene in particular, as he enters the prison armed with armalite rifle was such a joy to watch.
Though I still miss Arnold Schwarzenegger from the first film, this sequel also boasts a great cast. Chinese actor, singer, and model Huang Xiaoming was an interesting addition to the cast as Shu Ren. Dave Bautista who plays as Trent DeRosa didn’t really get a lot of screen time, despite the fact that he’s being billed as Stallone’s co-star. But he was still fun to watch as he takes down their enemies from the prison. Of course, the biggest star of the film is Sylvester Stallone who reprises his role as Ray Breslin. Though we didn’t get to see him do a lot of action, it’s always a delight to see an icon like him headline a movie like this. I don’t know why but there’s something with Stallone that whenever he delivers a one-liner, despite how cheesy it is, he makes it sound so cool.
Admittedly, the first movie from director Mikael Håfström was way better than this sequel. This film loses the suspense of the first one. Plus, this sequel’s visual effects (mostly the CGI) were pretty bad and unforgivably cringeworthy to look at. Also, the writing of the first movie was way better. There were some dialogues here in this sequel that will at times make you scratch your head.
Despite all of this, I actually enjoyed this sequel. Though it loses the suspense from the first film, “Escape Plan 2: Hades” is packed with more action to satisfy fans of the genre. It’s not groundbreaking in any way, but it’s an entertaining action flick that is worth the look.