Escape Plan: The Extractors (2019)

Posted in Reviews by - December 28, 2019
Escape Plan: The Extractors (2019)

For anyone looking to play ‘action movie bingo’, this one has a full board: a supporting Asian cast who all know kung fu; not one, but two, damsels in distress; terrorists involved in a hostage situation demanding an insane ransom, holed up in a mysterious impenetrable fortress in another version of Die Hard; two grizzled, no-nonsense alpha-buddies; and, for an extra bonus point, this one even has Sylvester Stallone in it. Cliches and stereotypes aside, its still a great Hollywood debut for Chinese martial arts star, Max Zhang, who looks incredible with his trademark mop of black hair and smart attire, unleashing lethal chops in a number of swish fight scenes provided by Black Panther fight choreographer Clayton Barber. He even gets to duel with 87Eleven alumni and action star, Daniel Bernhardt. If this was made 20 years prior, Max Zhang would have probably played the villain (see Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4), so in Hollywood terms, this is progress, of a kind. Given the success of the Escape Plan films in China, this third film keeps a much closer eye on the Chinese box office, with a story concerning the kidnapping of a rich businessman’s daughter (Melise) and the atonement of her trusted bodyguards (played by Zhang and Harry Shum Jr.). She is thrown in a black site lock-up by a terrorist group led by the son of Stallone’s previous adversary, although the rescue mission only really steps up when one of his own team (Jaime King) also gets herself kidnapped. Contrarily, in the west, the Escape Plan series appears to have been downgraded from a mainstream concern built around the much-anticipated pairing of 80s heavyweights Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to a low-budget DTV venture with Dave Bautista stepping into Arnie’s big boots. Sly and Bautista are a good fit, but they are hardly exploring new territory here.

AKA: Escape Plan 3; Escape Plan 3: The Extractors.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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