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Mike McCahill’s “Escape Plan” Is Brief but Brawny

In response to Mike McCahill’s 155‑word review of Escape Plan on Guardian [UK]

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Don’t blink. You might miss Mike McCahill’s “Escape Plan – review” which might not be a bad thing considering how unmemorable it is. Escape Plan is so slight, it’s downright anorexic.  

This is less a function of McCahill’s laziness and more a result of The Guardian’s format, whose word count requirements make the back of a cereal box look wordy. The 155 words McCahill devotes to Escape Plan here is an opus by Guardian standards, but it isn’t enough to give a thorough appraisal.

McCahill packs as much as he can into it, stuffing his sentences to the brim with content and couching his arguments and recap into a series of questions, which, at first blush, might feel like filler, but actually serve to creatively expose the problems McCahill sees in the film, which suffers from “ropey material” and is “never quite distinctive enough to merit anything more than a tardy, generally unmemorable DVD viewing.”

McCahill is, without question, a good writer, he’s just never given the space to really stretch out. Unfortunate, because The Guardian may have a Ferrari in the garage, but they’ll never know it if they don’t let it out on the highway. It still looks pretty in the garage, though, so if you like short and sweet, this one’s for you.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation