Escape Plan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Across the board, the transfer looked good.
Sharpness was fine. A little softness occurred in some wide shots, but those didn’t become a concern, so overall definition seemed solid.
I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and the presentation lacked apparent edge haloes or other artifacts. I also saw no print flaws, as the movie always seemed clean.
In terms of palette, Plan opted for colors that veered toward teal and amber. Given the somber prison setting, it kept these subdued, and the disc reproduced them as intended.
In addition, blacks were dark and tight, while low-light shots were decent; some could be a bit dense, but they weren’t bad. This was a positive presentation.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack added breadth to the experience. The movie didn’t deliver a consistently rock-em-sock-em soundscape, but it managed to open up well.
A few louder sequences – usually connected to action beats – made more dynamic use of the spectrum, but those didn’t pop up with great frequency. Instead, the emphasis on general environment remained, and that was fine, as I felt the soundfield fit the material.
Audio quality always pleased. Speech remained natural and concise, with no edginess or other flaws.
Music sounded full and dynamic, while effects came across as accurate and clear. All of this suited the film and earned a solid “B”.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio seemed similar – it added a little breadth but remained largely comparable to the Blu-ray’s 7.1 affair.
Visuals also demonstrated a mild boost, as the 4K showed somewhat superior definition along with stronger brightness/contrast and more dynamic colors. Don’t expect a substantial improvement, though, as the 4K brought an incremental step up from the Blu-ray. It’s better but not a night/day difference.
The disc comes with a few extras, and these begin with an audio commentary from director Mikael Håfström and co-writer Miles Chapman. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots and story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, stunts and effects, music, editing and related topics.
Though never great, this becomes a largely good commentary. At times they tend to simply narrate the story, but they manage to throw out more than enough filmmaking information to turn this into a worthwhile listen.
Three featurettes follow, and these start with Executing the Plan. It goes for 22 minutes, 13 seconds and offers notes from Chapman, Håfström, producers Kevin King-Templeton, Randall Emmett and Mark Canton, location manager Elston Howard, and actors Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jim Caviezel.
“Plan” looks at the film’s path to the screen, cast and performances, how Håfström came to the project and his impact on the production, sets and locations, stunts and action, and some character areas. “Plan” lacks much depth but it becomes a competent overview.
Maximum Security lasts 21 minutes, 57 seconds and features Criminal Justice Professor Dr. Connie Ireland, former prison warden Jim Bruton, architects BJ Meder, Steve Wagner, Frank Cuomo and Lawrence Goldberg, Social Welfare Professor Jorja Leap, Criminology and Law Assistant Professor Keramet Reiter, security technologist and author Bruce Schneier, and corrections officer Brent Kowitz.
“Security” discusses the history of prisons and aspects of how they work. It brings us a tight, informative examination of the subject.
Finally, Clash of the Titans spans 15 minutes, 34 seconds with notes from Schwarzenegger, Stallone, King-Templeton, Chapman, Caviezel, Håfström, stunt coordinator Noon Orsatti, and actors Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Amy Ryan.
“Clash” covers the pairing of Sly and Arnold, and it turns into a fairly fluffy view of the actors. It’s not terrible but it lacks much substance.
11 Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 13 seconds. As that running time implies, these tend to offer brief tidbits.
While I can’t claim any of them add a lot, we find some decent additions, mainly the ones that expand on narrative areas or secondary characters. The scenes don’t seem crucial but they offer useful info much of the time.
A second disc provides a Blu-ray copy of Plan. It includes the same extras as the 4K and adds promos for Divergent, The Last Stand, Dredd and Expendables 2. No trailer for Escape Plan appears here.
Fans of 1980s action cinema will thrill to the sight of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger on-screen together, but that novelty exists as the only appealing aspect of Escape Plan. The movie moves slowly and never turns into a satisfying experience. The 4K UHD boasts generally solid picture and audio along with a decent array of supplements. This remains a forgettable action effort.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of ESCAPE PLAN