Following the roaring success of The Expendables and its unnecessary sequel, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up for their first ever one-on-one, on-screen matchup in Escape Plan.  Directed by Swedish filmmaker, Mikael Hafstrom – the man behind 2007 horror-thriller 1408 and 2005's Derailed – the film, unfortunately, falls short of both its promise and potential.

Ray Breslin (Stallone) is a highly skilful escape artist who specialises in testing the reliability of security systems used in maximum security prisons.  As the co-owner of Breslin-Clark, with partner Lester Clark (D'Onofrio), Ray's job entails a few rather unconventional tasks; after gaining access to prisons, he escapes to highlight the security's faults.

His work soon draws attention from the CIA, who are keen to have the expert test a security system in their latest high-tech slammer. The multi-million dollar deal, however, doesn't sit well with Ray's devoted colleagues, Hush (50 Cent) and Abigail (Ryan), who find the whole thing a little suspicious. Despite his partners' hesitations, Ray agrees to the deal and soon finds himself sharing quarters with some of the most dangerous criminals in the world.

Soon after his arrival, and after the meeting with the prison's warden Hobbes (Caviezel), Ray senses that something is wrong; no one seems to know who he is or what he's there to accomplish.  Realising that he needs to escape the as soon as possible, Ray befriends Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) and the duo soon learn that escaping the prison walls is not as easy as they think.

Never ones to shy away from the spotlight, it's surprising to learn that this long-awaited matchup has been in the works for quite some time. Therefore, it's even more surprising that neither actor appears fully connected to their roles. Seemingly set in their ways, both Stallone and Schwarzenegger rely heavily on a repertoire of cheesy one liners and overflowing bravado.

Additionally, almost every scene is shot with extreme close-ups, which proves rather unflattering for the time-worn stars. With very few action scenes, Stallone and Schwarzenegger are given little room to do what they do best. Meanwhile, despite being full of familiar faces, the supporting cast are neglected by the story, instead giving the spotlight to a watered down Sylvester and Arnie.

Escape Plan is filled with recognisable action film traits – but not the good kind. This is a film with a predictable plot, awful dialogue and far too many clichés, whose only potential redeeming features are equally downtrodden.