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Audiences Will Find Lots to Love in Andrew Barker’s “Escape Plan”

In response to Andrew Barker’s 661‑word review of Escape Plan on Variety

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Andrew Barker’s “Film Review: ‘Escape Plan’” is a brisk and gratifying read, and although it seems occasionally unable to make up its mind, it makes up for its equivocation with undeniable charisma.

Film Review: Escape Plan treads familiar territory with generosity and a light heart, like an adult revisiting a local theme park for the first time since he was a child. It’s not the adventure that it once was, but the creaky old rides still manage to eke out some genuine thrills.

McCarthy leads his audience through the landscape with skill. The work manages not to take itself too seriously. It avoids self-importance in favor of lively recap and spurts of fine analysis.

There’s a subtle but fun contrast throughout the piece that begins in the very first act, a sort of juxtaposition of thick and thin. Thick heads, thin plots. Language like “lunkheaded” and “slablike” and “skull-crackery” plays against the notion that, while there’s plenty of fun to be had, it’s imponderable and disposable.

This is where the piece runs into its only problem:  Film Review: Escape Plan has an air of dismissiveness that’s tough not to notice. It certainly entertains, but leaves room for readers to wonder what they were supposed to take away from the experience.

Audiences will find lots to love in Barker’s wry and jaunty work, which should figure into the handful of reviews they read this Escape Plan season.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation