Movie Review: ‘The Escape Of Prisoner 614’ Blu-ray

by | Jun 21, 2018 | Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

Review by James Lindorf

Saban Films and Yale Productions bring you The Escape of Prisoner 614, the feature film debut of writer and director Zach Golden. The film stars Martin Starr (Silicon Valley) and Jake McDorman (Greek) as Jim and Thurman, a couple of small-town deputies that have more in common with Barney Fife than Riggs and Murtaugh. After an audit of their arrest records goes poorly, the pair is left without a job and a sense of purpose. While cleaning out their office, news of an escaped prisoner reaches their station. The duo knows if they can track down the convicted cop killer, they will get their jobs back. The Escape of Prisoner 614 will be available in theaters and On Demand April 27th.

Many movies can be made better by not seeing a trailer. Just sitting down after reading the synopsis, maybe a review from a trusted source, or even going in completely blind can sometimes be freeing. Gone are the moments of waiting for a joke or an action scene that you saw five seconds of in the preview, allowing you to experience it all for the first time. This is not one of those movies. It is not a broad comedy like Airplane, The Hangover or We’re the Millers. It has a particular comedic style that won’t work for everyone. If this is your style, you will have a blast. If not, the ineptitude of Jim and Thurman will drive you crazy.

George Sample III, who plays the titular character, prisoner 614, is my favorite part of the movie. Sample may have only been acting for three years, but he played a great straight man to Starr and McDorman. Saying he was the standout is a surprising thing for me to say about a film with Ron Pearlman, a favorite of mine. Pearlman was actually in more of the movie than I anticipated. I only expected him to bookend the film, but he is shown throughout. Most of his scenes take place in one location, so I don’t think he spent a ton of time on set, but it was at least a few days. Starr plays Jim as a sweet, barely literate good guy who may even be somewhere on the spectrum. Thurman, on the other hand, is the overly cocksure type who would be a con man if he wasn’t a deputy. He probably spends all his time talking Jim into some scheme.

The low of the movie for me, besides McDorman’s seemingly southern accent, is the rushed third act. While it doesn’t do anything exceedingly wrong, it rushes to its conclusion, while dropping a couple of minor plot points. The story gets where you want it to go in a relatively brief 95-minute runtime, but it is the humor that will decide if you want to see further adventures of Jim and Thurman. Other than rushing the end, Golden did a fine job for his first time as a writer/director and will be given the opportunity to grow from this experience.