By Victoria Alexander, Film Critic

Schwarzenegger and Travolta have slowed, but Stallone keeps building franchises.

 and Travolta have slowed, but Stallone keeps building franchises.

ESCAPE PLAN 2: HADES, like its predecessor ESCAPE PLAN, is a futuristic Escape from Alcatraz or high-tech SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION starring Sylvester Stallone who returns as Ray Breslin, the “world’s best prison escape artist.”

In EP2HBreslin’s elite security team, consisting of Hush (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), Abigail (Jaime King), Luke (Jesse Metcalfe), and Jaspar Kimbral (Wes Chatham) are back. They break in and out of the world’s most un-breakable prisons.

Kimbral is kicked out of the unit for not following orders and new team member, martial arts-kicking badass Shu Ren (Huang Xiaoming), is kidnapped and thrown into Hades, the most fortified prison ever designed.

Hades is the real star of the ESCAPE PLAN franchise. Beat up a guy and get 2 hours of alone-time.

Hades was the Greek God of the underworld, and shared his rulership of the cosmos with Zeus, ruler of the sky, and Poseidon, who ruled the sea.

Now who is really in control of Hades and what information from Shu Ren could possibly cause the kind of mayhem that brings about World Domination, or The End Of The World?

China’s Xiaoming has the most screen-time in EP2H and is a major star in the Asian market. Stallone serves mostly as the team’s mentor – that is, until he gets himself captured and brought to Hades, fights a big, bad guy in the Zen arena and saves the day.

Dave Bautista takes over for Arnold Schwarzenegger as Trent Derosa. With Bautista’s golden ticket as Drax, from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and AVENGERS, we will continue to see him in nearly every movie this year. What could be a better acting notch then co-starring with Jodie Foster in HOTEL ARTEMIS, and not being blamed for its dismal box office? His imdb.compage lists 5 movies for 2018.

ESCAPE PLAN 3: DEVIL’S STATION is already in post-production, so its 3 franchises for Bautista, 5 for Stallone (ROCKY, RAMBO 5, EXPENDABLES 4, CREED II and ESCAPE PLAN 3. It will be 6 for Stallone if he continues as Stakar in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 3).

Victoria Alexander

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society:

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email

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