The Escapist

One of the unfortunate side effects of Brian Cox being such an incredible bad guy is that he doesn't get very much time to shine as a leading man. Thankfully, in The Escapist and role written specifically for him, he gets ample time to show why he's such a revered actor. Cox plays Frank Perry, a lifer in a very gritty prison. He has long given up any hope of seeing the outside world again, until he receives a letter to say his daughter has overdosed, and nearly died. He decides he needs to see her one last time, and vows to escape.

Of course he can't go it alone, so he enlists help from a number of other prisoners (Joseph Fiennes, Liam Cunningham and others). Of course, there are fellow inmates who would throw a spanner in the works - head con Rizza (Damien Lewis) and his junkie, rapist brother Tom (Steven Mackintosh). What makes The Escapist that bit different to your average prison break film is the fact that we see the escape inter-cut very effectively with the preparation throughout the film. All this, and the film still manages to pull off a very clever ending.

Much of the film was shot in Kilmainham Gaol, and featured scenes shot down in the sections of the gaol not open to the public. Having been in these sections myself, I could almost feel the cold on my skin as I watched parts of the film. The sense of claustrophobia, of being trapped, is immense.

A very good film, and well worth the watch, featuring a great performance from Brian Cox and bolstered by a great ending. B+.

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