Escape Plan had an amazing premise: Put Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in prison and watch them muscle their way out. Escape Plan 2: Hades did the same thing, albeit without Arnold Schwarzenegger to add some extra appeal. While the film's decently-reviewed predecessor underperformed at the box office and didn't particularly thrill viewers, its lackluster debut didn't stop studio executives from greenlighting not one, but two sequels. Hades is the first and Escape Plan 3: The Extractors will be the second. Hades failed, and Sylvester Stallone won't hesitate to tell you why.
Sylvester Stallone's recent Instagram post revealed his thoughts on Escape Plan 2, even going so far as to call it “the worst produced film I have ever had the misfortune to be in." (He later seemed to update that to "most horribly produced" and added all-caps.) Contrastingly, his thoughts on the fight scenes in the upcoming Escape Plan 3: The Extractors (announced back in 2017) are overwhelmingly positive.
In the scene he shows off in the Instagram post, there's no choreography. Just a brutal beatdown, agonized grunts, and lots of growled taunts. Pretty typical for a square-off with Sylvester Stallone, if you ask me. Check it out:
But even if you don't like the Escape Plan franchise, don't let Sylvester Stallone catch wind of your opinion. He'll “personally come up there and beat your brains in.” Sounds reasonable? None of these films rank amongst his most badass movies, but there's apparently enough appeal to keep filmmakers (and action-hungry viewers) circling back for more. Especially if you separate the first one from its abysmal sequel. But without Arnold Schwarzenegger co-starring, interest in the films has begun to decrease with each successive installment.
And Sylvester Stallone definitely believes in them so they're worth at least one viewing. If you like the guy, do him a solid and give this series a shot. He's done good work, and if one thing can be said about what he does, it's that he gives every project everything he has. Good on you, Stallone.
In some ways, though, the Escape Plan franchise is as tired of a premise as the Hangover films ending up being. These kinds of concepts aren't meant to be revisited to exhaustion. One film will suffice, thank you. Still, there are plenty of people who enjoy these movies and I won't criticize them for it. They're really just not for me.
Escape Plan 3: The Extractors hit theaters in Russia on June 27 but will only receive a home video release in the United States on July 2. If you liked the first and second, you'll probably love that this new installment is reportedly a step up. But we'll find out for sure next week.