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film review

Sylvester Stallone and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attend the premiere of Escape Plan in New York October 15, 2013.ANDREW KELLY/Reuters

In which Sly and Arnie, the dream team of 1986, collude to escape the world's most inescapable lockup in 2013, proving on more levels than one that good things – or at least not too bad things – come to those who wait.

Holed up in a high-tech, off-the-grid facility where the baddest of badasses are sent to "disappear" without any official oversight, professional breakout artist Ray Breslin (Stallone) finds even his considerable skills (usually deployed to demonstrate security flaws) put to the test. Ergo, in order to blow the joint and find out who conspired to drop and abandon him there, Ray pools his surplus of vintage testosterone with that of Emile Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), resulting in a display of old-school muscle-buddy connivance that's as flatly preposterous as it is shamelessly entertaining.

Playing Crosby to Stallone's Hope, or maybe Pinky to Sly's Brain, Schwarzenegger gets second billing but the best lines, especially when he tells the erstwhile Rocky Balboa that he punches "like a vegetarian." Yes, this is the kind of red-meat entertainment where that passes for an insult, and the beef served up is thick, juicy and never tenderized.