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Bilge Ebiri’s “Escape Plan” Is a Smart, Insightful Read

In response to Bilge Ebiri’s 799‑word review of Escape Plan on Vulture

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Bilge Ebiri is as sharp as ever in “Ebiri on Escape Plan: Stallone-Schwarzenegger Team-Up Is Stupid, Stupid Fun”, giving his faithful followers the sweet, sweet goods.

Ebiri begins his opus like most reviews of this film, by focusing first and foremost on the big story here, the first genuine pairing of the two elderly “macho killing machines”, Stallone and Schwarzenegger. But while other critics are busying themselves picking all the low hanging fruit such a pairing produces, Ebiri gets out the ladder and finds new insight.

The real story here, according to Ebiri, is not the age of these two stars, it’s that they are playing against type for the first time in their careers. Stallone is the “old, calculating pro” and Ah-Nold “is the guy who seems to have been stuck in prison for years.” This is a reviewer who’s not content to do what everyone else has done.  

Ebiri’s writing comes off as sturdy and substantial without ever feeling unwieldy. He’s a sculptor, chiseling his arguments out of solid stone, but, while he doesn’t lighten the mood by cracking jokes, his work is so effortless and balanced, readers will not feel the weight and will find this a perceptive and pleasant read.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation