Director Brandon Slagle (Battle for Saipan) co-wrote the Breakout screenplay with writers Robert Thompson and Devanny Pinn, an action/crime feature. When most people read the synopsis, they might think this is just another criminal who wants out of prison, and we have a predictable story. In this case, I can’t deny some scenes usually appear in most jailbreak films, and those can’t be helped. The filmmakers have written a story that is more than meets the eye to keep the viewer engaged. Alex Baros (Louis Mandylor) is visiting his son Vincent Baros (Kristos Andrews), who gets incarcerated in a maximum-security prison for a recent crime. They have not had a close relationship, and things have worsened since Vincent’s mama died. Vincent has enough of a conversation with Alex to let him know why he is disappointed with his excessive absence. The drama in prison explodes.

Vincent hasn’t been incarcerated long enough to know who else is there. Alex’s contacts also didn’t share with him that a former LAPD explosives expert, Max Chandler (Brian Krause), is at this same prison for multiple bombings across the state. Krause is excellent as a criminal mastermind who has built up an entire force of recruits with special skills to help him escape. Krause portrays his character with plenty of confidence about the bombs he has placed and the elimination of those who stand in his way.

Alex is surprised by the bombs .hat go off before being able to leave the compound. Concerned about his son’s safety, he carefully walks through the halls and listens to Chandler over loudspeakers – inmates either escape for their freedom or stay and join as his recruits. This moment is when Alex must rely on the Black Ops skills he used in his past – ones not ultimately shared with Vincent. Mandylor has a long list of credits in film/television series re: war, criminals, and more, so his talent shines in this role when he takes down anyone on his way to finding his son.

On the outside, all the law enforcement agencies have made their presence. Among them is Chaz (the late Tom Sizemore), a hostage negotiator talking to Chandler. Chandler knows something is amiss when his men are no longer responding to his commands, knowing all too well this is a skilled operative coming for him.

Breakout falters regarding the ending as Alex is closer to Chandler and Vincent, who have bought into some of this criminal’s aspirations. I would have liked more action on the rooftop scene, or at least not so dramatic and brief. Other fans of this genre may be satisfied with the ending and see the finale as acceptable. It is worth the watch and is now available now Digital Platforms and DVDs.

Additional Cast: Noel Guglielmi (Training Day), Victor DiMatta (The Sandlot), and Derek Ocampo

MPAA Rating: Unrated. Runtime: 86 min
Source: Uncork’d Entertainment

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