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The Extractors: Escape Plan (2019) Review



The Extractors is a satisfying conclusion to the Escape Plan trilogy and a major improvement over the second movie. Sly Stallone has more to do this time around and the final half hour is worth the wait.

Plot: 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. Now he and his team, must pull off a deadly rescue mission to confront their sadistic foe and save the hostages, hidden in the depths of the prison complex, before time runs out.

Review: After the disappointing second entry in the Escape Plan series The Extractors is a vast improvement with one of the best casts of the year including Sylvester Stallone, Dave Bautista, Max Zhang, Daniel Bernhardt, 50 Cent, Jamie King, Devon Sawa and Russell Wong.

The Extractors feels very different form the second entry and removes the more sci-fi elements keeping things more grounded but also strangely taking out the whole escaping from prison aspect. This time Ray Breslin (Stallone) and his crew are breaking into a prison to rescue his girl and the kidnapped daughter of a Hong Kong tech mogul.

Stallone thankfully has a bigger role this time around and although it is tenuous it is nice to see how the story connects to the first movie. Max Zhang is pretty much the main character which I have no issue with whatsoever as he has great screen presence and is rapidly becoming one of my favourite action stars. I was hoping that we would get to see Zhang and Bernhardt throwdown and it didn’t disappoint giving us the best fight scene of the movie. We can see all the action clearly and you can practically feel every punch and kick.

The first half doesn`t have all that much in the way of action mostly setting up the story and characters but it’s the last half hour that make Extractors worth watching. Dave Bautista’s “down in front” moment had me cheering and by the end all I was thinking was “this should be an Expendables movie…”

Devon Sawa (Final Destination) is the main villain but he isn’t particularly threatening and is rather one dimensional but his motivation is understandable.

The story is less baffling this time around keeping things relatively straightforward which is the best way to do a movie like this. Everyone gets their moment to shine in terms of action and the final fight between Sly and Sawa is satisfyingly brutal. There are in general some imaginative R rated kills and a few surprising moments to keep things interesting but you can’t help but feel that most of the budget went to Stallone’s salary. It lacks the glossy look of the first movie feeling lower in budget but I suppose it does add extra grit to the aesthetic.

Sadly The Newton Brothers didn’t return to score The Extractors as the best thing about the second movie was the music so this time around it’s rather forgettable.

Overall, The Extractors: Escape Plan is a step up from the second entry with an awesome cast who all get to showcase their action skills and there are plenty of satisfyingly violent kills. Max Zhang steals the movie with his effortless cool and it’s great to see Daniel Bernhardt getting in on the action. This is a fitting end to the series and I feel like we don’t need a fourth entry. Can we have Expendables 4 now, please?