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Jeffrey M. Anderson’s “Escape Plan” Is Slight and Unsatisfactory

In response to Jeffrey M. Anderson’s 446‑word review of Escape Plan on Common Sense Media

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Sometimes you’re craving meat and potatoes, but all your cupboards hold is cheese and crackers. That’s the feeling with Jeffrey M. Anderson’s “Escape Plan”; it’s more tofu than porterhouse. But that may be less Anderson’s fault than the format of Common Sense Media‘s movie reviews, whose main thrust is to provide parents with a rundown of the objectionable content in movies to help them decide whether it’s appropriate for kids.

The lion’s share of the article is devoted to ranking the film’s positive messages, sex, violence, and language, and assigning a star value to each of these attributes, a valuable service indeed, but not the critic’s job in the traditional sense.

That said, Anderson does give readers a couple paragraphs on the quality, praising Escape Plan’s two leads for being “loose, charming, and not too serious”. The scriptwriters “cook up just enough puzzle pieces to keep brains busy”, but most of the observations are perfunctory and tired, conclusions that could have been made without even seeing the movie.

Anderson puts tremendous work into analyzing the content, but the critique feels like an afterthought and washes over you with no real consequence. Getting a swear word count is handy, but more emphasis should have been placed on the merits of the film in general.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation