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Soundtrack review: Escape plan 2: Hades (The Newton Brothers – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Escape plan 2: Hades (The Newton Brothers – 2018)

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“Escape Plan 2: Hades” is a 2018 action film directed by Steven C. Miller. It is the sequel to the 2013 film Escape Plan and features Sylvester Stallone and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson reprising their roles from the first film, with Dave Bautista, Huang Xiaoming, Jaime King, Jesse Metcalfe, Titus Welliver, and Wes Chatham joining the cast. The film was released straight to DVD in the United States and theatrically in Russia on June 28, 2018, in China on June 29, 2018 and in Italy on August 22, 2018. The Newton Brothers wrote the score.

I absolutely loved the first “Escape plan” movie and I was looking forward to the second one, especially with Welliver and Bautista joining the cast; unfortunately there was a reason this movie was released straight to DVD, it was completely forgettable. The one positive takeaway though was the score which sounded very good in context. I was happy to see it get a release. The opening cue “Chechnya, Russia” is the kind of quiet suspenseful electronic piece that usually plays over a movie prologue involving a covert op. It’s a kind of a trick to make you focus more on what’s happening on screen.

The second cue “Alice is dead” was the first one that got my attention as I watched the movie because it goes straight to reflective synth mode, quiet, almost elegiac and this is the kind of ambient music I can never get enough of. The composers are fair to the more frantic scenes of the movie as well and go all techno in pieces like “Taken”. I turn the volume high for this one and move on. I remember all the computer gimmicks in the story and the score reflects those as well; I think The Newton Brothers had fun writing this one and firing up all their electronic cylinders. I cam here for the reflective moments but as I am listening to the score on its own I am discovering some electrifying techno pieces which you have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy.

As always I am more drawn to the quieter, ambient moments and I am getting my fix with the synth thrills of cues like “I’m predictable” and “You are family”. That’s the mood I am looking for, these are the moments that stuck with me as I was watching the movie. Waiting for those makes me a bit impatient with the rest of the score and there are a few 5,6 minutes long pieces related to the action sequences in the movie. And this is precisely why this score works even in these moments, because I saw the movie and the pace and atmosphere fits whatever was going on there.

The music of “Escape plan 2: Hades” will please fans of aggressive techno electronic music and I think some fans of trailer music will find things to like in this one as well. For me, the score was much better and meaningful than the movie, I got more thrills listening to it on its own.

Cue rating: 76 / 100

Highlights:
Alice Is Dead
I’m Predictable
You Are Family
End Credits

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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