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Tim Grierson’s “Help the Aged. Escape Plan, Reviewed” Is Touching

In response to Tim Grierson’s 890‑word review of Escape Plan on Deadspin

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Do you like reviews that start with soft, sad refrains for subject matter that is awful but with charm? Welcome to Tim Grierson’s “Help The Aged. Escape Plan, Reviewed.”

It’s a touching piece. And part of a new line of reviews of shlocky bad films that feel almost sad for the failures under the microscope. And, amazingly, there’s insight into actor’s legacies (if one can call them that) here and in other reviews of Escape Plan that border on tender. How amazing is that? A film universally panned, staring former gods of coked-out 1980s steroid raging action flicks and what does Grierson employ to unpackage the latest homage to the old stars’ bygone era? Gentle appreciation for what the film is and is not.

There’s even a terrific applause break for the plot not being 1001 different kinds of terrible and having a twist that isn’t just homage or hyperbolic nostalgia. In short, Grierson evokes the warmth that the film tries to instill in that impossible task of going home again. There’s the now common shout out for 50 Cent’s zero cents acting, and the usual stupidity of even the best prison capers, but the charm of the first sentence not only stays but grows until, at the end, there’s a true sense that this awful film is worth seeing.

Bravo, Grierson. You get a hero cookie.    

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