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John Herzfeld
Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, Curtis Jackson
Writing Credits:
Miles Chapman, John Herzfeld

After security expert Ray Breslin is hired to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul from a formidable Latvian prison, Breslin's girlfriend is also captured.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 7/2/2019

• Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director John Herzfeld and Actors Sylvester Stallone, Devon Sawa and Daniel Bernhardt
• “Making Escape Plan: The Extractors” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Escape Plan: The Extractors [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 25, 2019)

Five years after 2013’s Escape Plan hit screens, a direct-to-video sequel entitled Escape Plan 2: Hades arrived. Barely a year later, we find a third chapter via another direct-to-video effort, 2019’s Escape Plan: The Extractors.

Hong Kong tech mogul Wu Zhang’s (Russell Wang) daughter Daya (Malise) gets kidnapped. Security expert Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) takes the job to save her.

A complication arises when Breslin’s girlfriend Abigail Ross (Jamie King) also ends up abducted by the same party, a psychotic foe of Ray’s named Lester Clark Jr. (Devon Sawa). This sends Ray on a mission to the massive Devil’s Station prison in an attempt to rescue Abigail, Daya and others.

Given the rapid turn-around time between Hades and Extractors, I thought the two might’ve been shot simultaneously. This doesn’t appear to be the case, which comes as a surprise since so many of the Hades participants reappear.

At least superficially, I regard the break in production times as a positive. Hades offered a terrible movie, so I held out hope that perhaps a slightly different creative crew – mainly apparent via a new director – might bring more life to the property.

Alas, this fails to prove true. Maybe Extractors works a smidgen better than Hades, but it nonetheless provides another forgettable, dull stab at action filmmaking.

Cinematographer Jacques Jouffret takes over for Hades DP Brandon Cox, and we get less shakycam, which I view as a positive. Hades went insane with hand-held photography, so even though Extractors still uses that format a lot of the time, it seems a bit less manic and hyperactive.

Thus ends the semi-praise portion of the review, as nothing else about Extractors earns even relative plaudits. Like Hades, the third film comes with a loose, fairly incoherent story, and that becomes a liability.

Admittedly, I don’t enter a movie like this with the expectation that it’ll deliver a tight plot, but I still expect something that makes sense on a basic level. Extractors fails to give us a narrative that progresses in a logical manner, so we’re left with loosely connected scenes that fail to connect.

Like Hades, Extractors includes a lot of Chinese characters, and I strongly suspect this occurs for economic reasons. China has become a huge market for movies, so studios bend over backwards to add elements that will give the films an edge there.

That’s not a criticism of the film’s Asian actors, but the apparent cynicism bugs me. The choice to give both sequels so much “Chinese content” really feels like little more than pandering.

That said, given how little substance we find in Extractors, I can’t slam the Chinese elements too much. No matter what nationalities it featured, it’d flop.

If Extractors came with some good action beats, the meandering plot would matter less. Unfortunately, the occasional set pieces fail to add life to the proceedings.

At least Hades actor Xiaoming Huang managed to bring some pep to his battles. No one here takes up that slack, so we’re left with never-ending reels of characters who threaten and glower at each other.

Sawa does acceptably well as the villain, but he doesn’t get much on which to hang his hat. The role remains underwritten and doesn’t give us an especially noteworthy foe.

Stallone sleepwalks through his part, and none of the others pick up the slack. Dave Bautista and Curtis Jackson add some star power to the project, but both have so little to do that they barely register.

Extractors exists as nothing more than cheap video product. It’s not the worst film of this sort I’ve seen, but it’s definitely a poor piece of work.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus C

Escape Plan: The Extractors appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a decent but somewhat lackluster visual experience.

Sharpness could be a bit iffy at times, mainly during interiors, as those tended to feel somewhat soft and indistinct. Much of the movie took place in these dimly-lit settings, so that left a lot of semi-fuzzy shots.

Still, most of the image looked reasonably tight. At least delineation improved during brighter scenes.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects emerged, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to occur.

Extractors favored a teal palette with a somewhat grimy feel. This limited vivacity for the hues and made them somewhat ugly, but this appeared to reflect the design choices.

Blacks were decent though a bit inky, and low-light shots tended to come across as somewhat murky. While I continue to suspect the disc reproduced the source with positive fidelity, it still became a moderately unappealing image.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it provided a reasonable mix but not one that excelled. The soundscape broadened on occasion for action scenes, and those managed to use the speakers well.

However, these popped up less often than you’d expect, so much of the mix focused on general atmospheric material. While those elements seemed well-integrated, we still found a mix with less involvement and activity than I’d anticipate.

At least audio quality felt fine, with speech that remained distinctive and concise. Music was vivid and full as well.

Effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with solid low-end at appropriate times. Though the soundscape felt too restrained for a grade above a “B”, this still became a perfectly adequate track.

A few extras pop up, and we get an audio commentary from co-writer/director John Herzfeld and actors Sylvester Stallone, Devon Sawa and Daniel Bernhardt. Herzfeld and Sawa sit together for a running, screen-specific effort, but Bernhardt doesn’t join them until close to the film’s one-hour mark, and we don’t hear from Stallone until about 70 minutes into the movie. Clearly this track required a lot of editing to come together.

The commentary looks at cast and performances, story and characters, sets and locations, visual style and cinematography, music, editing, stunts and action. That’s a good assortment of topics, but the piece becomes a bore.

Sure, we get occasional insights, but mostly we just hear praise for the film and all involved. The discussion turns tedious before long and becomes a chore to endure. There’s probably 10 minutes of actual movie info in this praise-filled lovefest.

The Making of Escape Plan: The Extractors runs 10 minutes, three seconds and features Stallone, Herzfeld, Sawa, producer Randall Emmett and actors Dave Bautista and Max Zhang.

“Making” examines story and characters, cast and performances, stunts and fights, locations, and Herzfeld’s impact on the production. A few insights emerge but most of “Making” offers fluffy promo material.

The disc opens with ads for Escape Plan, Escape Plan 2: Hades, Backtrace, Bent and Future World. No trailer for Extractors appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Extractors. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Although the original Escape Plan seemed mediocre, it worked a lot better than its sequels. Escape Plan: The Extractors follows in its predecessor’s footsteps and becomes a boring excuse for an action film. The Blu-ray comes with decent picture and audio as well as superficial supplements. Extractors does nothing to enliven a weak franchise.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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