Friday, November 11, 2011

The Escapist (2008)

Far be it for me to speak on a director’s behalf, but as Rupert Wyatt directed the 2008 prison drama The Escapist, he must have been thinking “If only I could replace Brian Cox with a CGI monkey. Then I’d have a faucking movie.” Seriously, I can't be the only one who sees a resembance between these two.
Wyatt, of course, did go on the direct this years wildly successful Rise of the Planet of The Apes, and there is surely a you tube video to be made comparing the performances of The Escapist’s British cast and the apes of the latter film. Like Drive, this is film doesn’t concern itself with much back story, everything we need to know about the characters is communicated in body language and posturing (the Netflix synopsis even gets Cox’s motive for escape wrong, citing his daughter’s terminal illness, when in fact the one shred of back-story we receive is that she is a junkie). Without any dialogue, we understand through the spreading of his shoulders that Damian Lewis is the alpha of this particular prison, Brian Cox has a history and shit, and Dominic Cooper is gonna get raped. Stephen Makintosh, in particular, plays one of the more despicable baddies in recent memory, a man with seemingly no control of his limbs, but a strong inclination to literally mash his face into anyone he hopes to influence. I would speculate that his character had cerebral palsy, but he does rape Dominic Cooper, so probably not. The film invigorates its by the numbers escape lot but over laying the actual escape with the days leading up to it. For anyone curious as to how Wyatt, a Brit with only two directing credits, landed a big budget Hollywood franchise, this film is a fairly stellar calling card. Wyatt has made 2 great entertainments, and as of right now, he is the best working director of movies about contemplative, non verbal apes in cages.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Brendan, you are brilliant. But you could use a proof reader.