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Review Escape Plan 2: Hades (2018): It's one of those films you watch late at night or on quiet Sundays.

genre: action, thriller, science fiction

When I saw that Escape Plan 2: Hades already had been released I was surprised. I thought for sure that after the succes of the original it would at least get the same big blockbuster treatment or better. But no, for some reason this is a direct to video production with a second sequel already in the works. So what are my thoughts on this film?

First of all I loved the original. It was a proper throwback to old school action films Stallone and Schwarzenegger are famous for. And I am all for a continuation or return of those types of films. Although I do want them to be good and entertaining. Escape Plan 2: Hades is a significant step back from the original action and spectacle wise. As a concept however it holds up. Will it satisfy the crowds? Not by a long shot. Like I said this is a direct to video production aimed at a specific audience. People like me who used to consume everything action flick whether it was an A, B or C title. This doesn't mean I agree with all the decisions made in this film. It's incredibly flawed. There are some boring scenes that have very little to no purpose. Director Steven C. Miller is to blame for that. He should have focused on the characters and the bonds between the characters a little more. Stallone and Schwarzenegger had real nice dynamics that made everything so much more fun. Those interactions are completely gone. As a matter of fact there is very little Stallone in this sequel.

Come again? Very little Stallone? Wasn't this supposed to be a Stallone flick? Yep, I also was under that impression. Unfortunately Stallone, as Ray Breslin, while still important is not the main character. Huang Xiaoming is. He plays Shu, a pupil of Breslin who gets kidnapped and put into an improved version of the Tomb (prison in original). This requires some adjustment since chances are you aren't familiar with him. The other big name Dave Bautista also is nothing more than a glorified cameo. Both Stallone and Bautista have been used to draw an audience who will get duped by having to deal with lesser names. Huang certainly is leading man material and does what he can to make you root for him. However he is let down by a weak plot and poor direction. This I can live with as long as the action is decent and entertaining. And that it is but I personally was hoping for a little more of it. Action scenes are over before you know it. That being said I managed to sit through the film and apart from a few scenes wasn't bored. 

Could and should the film have been better? Of course. I mean Stallone is one of those names you can count on when it comes to good action. However the guy is 71 years old. You can't expect him to do action like he used to do. So it makes sense for him to be more in the background leaving the action bits for the younger cast members. Still, good action is what we want and that should have been delivered more. Overall Escape Plan 2: Hades is entertaining enough while it lasts. It certainly is not the worst film ever made. People claiming this obviously have not seen the films I have seen. But it is one you appreciate more late at night or on quiet Sundays. 

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