“The Escapist” is a complex thriller that details the planning and execution of a prison escape. The complexity of the film comes from its non-sequential timeline which intermingles the scenes of each narrative. Both parts of the story occur in chronological order but their simultaneous presentation enhances the incredible twist ending. With this movie’s unique script, odd musical score, and raw portrayal of prison life, it screams “indie film.” The setting also breaks the mold of big-budget prison films, favoring an old stone jail over a high-tech, maximum security prison. It also has the high quality acting that we have come to expect from the indie film trend. I find Brian Cox to be an underrated actor and this role (that was specifically written for him) gives him an opportunity to shine. Amidst all of the naked butts that appear throughout the film, he plays his character with a consistent intensity that drives the film to its shocking conclusion. He is surrounded by a handful of those talented actors that you recognize from other films but you can’t remember their names. As a unit, his crew becomes a character of its own. This “character” grows throughout the film as it deals with the internal conflicts of its diverse set of personalities. The film is above average in many respects but its only earth-shattering quality is its final four minutes. It is something that you just have to experience. It may be better to wait until you are an adult, as the content of the film has a lot of grit and is beyond the comprehension of younger audiences. “The Escapist” twists your mind with its unconventional timeline, but it all adds up in its final recapitulation which will have you rewinding to make sure that you understand what actually happened.
[Pictured: The unique prison setting creates all sorts of cool shots like this one]