Quantcast

Escape Plan 2: Hades (Blu-ray Review)

Years after Ray Breslin (Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone) fought his way out of the escape-proof prison called “The Tomb,” he’s organized a new top-notch, for-hire security force. But when one of his team members goes missing inside the computerized techno-terror battle-maze known as HADES, Breslin together with Trent DeRosa (Dave Bautista) must now decipher a way to break into the world’s best hidden prison, release their kidnapped team, and make it out alive. 

Film

Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is indeed back with his wrecking crew of a private security/mercenary force. This time, after a rescue mission gone wrong, one of his crew, Shu (Xiaoming Huang), is taken prisoner and thrown into a futuristic hell hole called Hades. It’s a legendary maximum-security prison currently in parts unknown. His mission, if he chooses to accept it, is to be taken prisoner himself, in order to free his team member out of Hades. Running the Hades operation is warden Gregor Faust (Titus Welliver). Controlling every computerized and digital facet of the Hades prison is Galileo, a fantastic and creepy looking drone. Breslin is no slouch, however, since he’s brought backup: Trent Derosa (Dave Bautista), Hush (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), and handling logistics, Abigail (Jaime King).

Escape Plan 2: Hades kicks into high gear from start to finish, which is a good thing, but the only issue is that story and dialogue is mediocre at best. I get the impression that this was a film to showcase Shu, because in reality, he is the main character in Hades and everyone else is on the outside trying to get into the prison to get him out. I wonder if it had anything to do with the release of the film overseas? Stallone and Bautista play their roles by the numbers but they feel like they’ve been placed on the back burner. Even some of the dialogue comes off as rushed in order to get to some dumb punchline or just to sound cheesy like the throwback films of yesterday, which is fine, if only they hit their marks in the delivery.

The good news is that Titus Welliver chews up the scenery quite nicely and the drone, Galileo, is so freakin’ cool that I want one by the foot of my bed protecting me from intruders. The fact that Galileo is an actual special effects creation and physically present makes it that much sweeter. I will say that some of the martial arts are nicely handled – Shu is badass when going up against the bad guys and the shootouts rock, as well. They do rely on way too much CGI squibs, so I preferred the hand-to-hand combat action.

If I had to compare Escape Plan 2: Hades with the first film, I’d have to say that the first film stands on its own. Hades does its own thing and never references the first film. Hades is set in the near future and is self-contained I am a big fan of director Steven C. Miller’s earlier works, mainly the horror films in his reel, but I have not seen any of his action films at all. The Aggression Scale was the only non-horror film of his that I have seen and I thought it showed lots of promise. Miller’s remake of Silent Night is still my favorite film of his.

Outside of some serviceable action scenes, a cool robot, and nice martial arts sequences, Escape Plan 2: Hades is disposable science-fiction action entertainment. The first film is way better but this sequel is its own beast. If you’re into cheesy action films (yes, they’ve been done better) then Escape Plan 2: Hades may be your cup of tea…or not. I’ve seen worse but I’ve also seen much better – take that as you will.

 

Video 

Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  Contrast and sharpness levels held steady. I did not detect any abnormal levels of artificial tweaking. Escape Plan 2: Hades is the type of film that lends itself to the digital format.

Depth: There some nice compositions and some of the aerial second unit photography is fantastic – it’s the stuff high definition dreams are made of. 

Black Levels: Black levels were stable and I did not detect any instances of crush. 

Color Reproduction: The color palette was fine. They really amped up the spectrum during the scenes featuring Galileo and during scenes of neon lit walkways. I thought that gave it a nice edge.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looked great considering that most had to spend their time in a prison. It’s not a grimy prison, so all the convicts are treated to nice haircuts and such. 

Noise/Artifacts: The only noise/artifacts were those inherent to the digital source. They’re more evident during the scenes that feature blue screen. It wasn’t a deal breaker but a tad noticeable. 

 

 

 

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English, Spanish English SDH

Dynamics:

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer channel definitely got in some hard kicks. The film has you covered in terms of explosions, body hits, and every other kind of blunt force trauma there is. 

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround channels put in some work on this lossless soundtrack. There are plenty of bullets flying around and zipping past people’s heads – you can hear them bouncing off of the walls. The ambience in the underground prison is unsettling, because you can hear the buzzing of additional drones as they slide by. It’s a very active back stage.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are clean and clear. The only time I may have had a hard time understanding what was being said was during some of the dialogue spoken by some of the Asian actors. Obviously that has nothing to do with the quality of the Blu-ray — there’s a distinction.

Extras

The special features are relatively slim in terms of quantity but the extended interviews with the cast and crew run almost an hour, which is great. Of course, my favorite of the featurettes is the building of the robot featurette. It reminds me of a modified ABC Robot from the Judge Dredd Stallone flick. I wish that featurette was longer. All of the featurettes are presented in high definition and a trailer gallery rounds them out.

  • Making Escape Plan 2: Hades (HD)
  • Building the Robot of Escape Plan: Hades (HD)
  • Creating the Look of Escape Plan 2: Hades (HD)
  • Extended Cast/Crew Interviews (HD)
  • Trailer Gallery (HD)

 

Summary

Escape Plan 2: Hades was a disappointment in terms of story continuation, because of the way it was marketed. It’s not a Stallone film and Arnold is definitely missed. There’s just no depth to the story that the first one clearly had in spades. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes but this was clearly marketed at a different type of audience than what the U.S. trailer showed. All is not lost, because the Blu-ray technical specifications are great. The video, outside a bit of digital noise, is near-reference and the lossless audio track is phenomenal. The special features do not feature Stallone in any of the interviews, but they are lengthy enough for those who enjoy that sort of thing. I hear that there will be third film in this franchise, so we’ll see how that one goes. I would not recommend this film as anything but being a harmless time-waster, with a cool ass robot, some nice kills, and a killer lossless soundtrack.

 

Escape Plan 2: Hades will be available

on Blu-ray & DVD June 29th, 2018!

ORDER NOW!

 

Share

Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

2 Responses to “Escape Plan 2: Hades (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gregg

    Great review! I still kinda want to see it but a blind buy is out of the question.

  2. Brian White

    You sir shall Red Box this one.