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Review Escape Plan: The Extractors (2019): Die Hard in a Latvian prison!

genre: action, crime, thriller

Apart from the setting and some returning characters this has very little to do with the original Escape Plan. The second film in the franchise had more similarities with that one but already was a big indication of what direction they were heading. Basically C film territory  that bank on big names like Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista and some up and coming Chinese actors who basically are the real main characters who get to do the most of the ass kicking. So how is this a Die Hard rip off? Well, Sly and co have to rescue a rich brat's daughter and her colleagues who are being held in a Latvian prison. 

The action is serviceable. Decent and brutal where needed but nothing to get too excited about. The Latvian prison could have lend itself for some true horror and terror. Remember how the high tech prison in the original was a force to be reckoned with. Even in the second film this was more or less the case. Here the prison is as low tech as you can imagine and yet it's classified as one of the toughest prisons in the world. How and why barely gets explained. This used to be one of the elements that was conveyed to the audience since it was this element that created the tension and the thrills. Exactly how tough can a prison be where there are no guards to speak of or no measures are shown that would discourage people to break out. In a couple of scenes it is demonstrated that it's relatively easy to breach in and out unnoticed.

One of the up and coming names is Zhang Jin. He might look familiar to you as he was the main antagonist in Ip Man 3. Now he also stars in Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy and has been in films like Rise of the Legend, SPL II: A Time for Consequences and Pacific Rim: Uprising. Like in the second Escape Plan he is the real main character who gets to kick ass the most whereas Stallone and Bautista do very little. Compared to the second Stallone is more hands on this time. But still very minimal if you were hoping for more.

The villains of the story are shown to be efficient when it suits the plot but the leader played by Devon Sawa isn't that menacing to begin with. He is supposed to play the son of Vincent D'Onofrio's character named Lester Clark who was the one who screwed Ray Breslin for a bit of money. Breslin dealt with this and now sonny dearest wants his revenge. One of his goons even mentions that he should let go of this revenge thing and focus on the money. Real sound advice but you guessed it Sawa is not having it. The goon smirks and let's it go. Daniel Bernhardt, another goon, also can't help but laugh at his boss decisions. His goons hardly take him seriously so why should we? But don't let this fool you Devon's character is despicable and does commit some evil acts. I will leave for you to find out what in case you are going to ignore my advice.

And my advice is to only watch the original Escape Plan and to ignore the second and third film ever being made. Even for C films they are pretty bad and only will be entertaining if you watch it with a group of friends and not really paying attention to what is going on.

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