Oooh so it’s been a while since I watched thrillers, having had a constant stream of fantasy and horrors recently. This was my partner’s suggestion after watching half of Jurassic World and getting bored. Starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, this film was guaranteed to be filled with action and poor enunciation — and I was not disappointed.
Contains spoilers, duh.
The biggest peeve I have with this film is the diction of the two actors. I don’t think it’s solely due to the accents. When the film focuses so much on the motivation, flaws (in the security system), and manipulating people and the surrounding to facilitate escape, actually knowing the story and understanding the dialogue is important. Stallone has a terrible habit of mumbling his lines, coupled with a constant resting bitch face, it makes it hard for me to keep up with the story.
He plays Ray Breslin, an expert in testing high-security prisons to make them inescapable. A new task sends him to an unnamed high security prison where he makes allies with Arnie before realising his own comrade had stabbed him in the back to ensure he stays in that prison forever. It certainly made me question why — if Clark wanted Breslin dead, surely he can just arrange Breslin to be shot on the spot. Done and dusted.
I have very little criticism for the film, not knowing much about heists, security systems, or ships. It was exciting, it was fun and clever, it was entertaining throughout.
A minor mechanical criticism I’d point out is how Stallone figured out they were off the coast of Morocco. Aside from the ocean breeze (you can do that?) and the star-gazing, he also cited the toilet water flushing to reinforce how they were in the Southern hemisphere. The Coriolis effect of the toilet bowl has been debunked, being too small-scale and too reliant on the shape of the bowl to actually have any significance.
The biggest twist came at the end, when it was revealed Arnie was actually the alleged Big Boss that caused Hobbs to have Arnie’s fake character in that prison in the first place. The CIA agent who roped Breslin into this job turned out to be his daughter who wanted to rescue her father. It begs the question: do Breslin’s crew not check the credentials of their clients before taking the job on, especially if she demands they revoke all their protocols until now? It’s certainly screwed him well over and then some.
I’d also would have liked Arnie to have more of a thinking role than a lackey whose sole purpose is to dive headlong blindly in Breslin’s plans, but that’s just me.
Verdict: enjoyable, would recommend. 4 stars.