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Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Year: 2009
Cast: Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, William Fichtner, Lori Petty
Director: various
Release Date: July 21, 2009
Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, violence)
Run Time: 01h:29m:06s
Genre(s): television

ìHow can I rob someone if I have no clue who he is?î - Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell)


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This is pretty much a no-brainer for Prison Break fans, as it's a feature-length movie that fills in some gaps from the recently-ended series.

Movie Grade: B+

DVD Grade: B

The Fox series Prison Break began with a bang, a beyond-compelling inaugural season that had its growing fan base expanding week after week thanks to excellent word of mouth. The premise was a simple one on the surface, involving young Michael Scofieldís (Wentworth Miller) brilliant tactics involved in a plot to not only get himself interred into the notoriously airtight Fox River Maximum Security Prison, but also to break himself and his Death Row Inmate brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) out. While this first season meant for great, water cooler TV, skeptics feared the worst for future seasons involving these characters, postÖwell, prison break. The series did last for three more seasons, however, although it arguably never held up to the first seasonís high standards, finally wrapping up its fourth and final batch of episodes in 2009.

Those of you who watched the series through its overall finale this past spring, know that there was some pretty significant closure given to the overall storyline and character lineage during the final five minutes of that show. What we never got to see on TV, however, was what happened between the happy portion of the finaleís coda, and the bittersweet, aforementioned final five minutes. Now, thanks to Fox Blu-ray, we finally have a chance to see the true finale of the show, in the form of Prison Break: The Final Break, a 90-minute film that takes things in a whole other direction, far different from the tidy way things were tied up during what we saw on TV.

Itís possible that The Final Break was meant as a two-part premiere for the Season Five that never was, but at least Fox was nice enough to allow us to enjoy these last 90 minutes instead of forgetting about them and letting them collect dust in a vault somewhere. Unfortunately, if what transpires here was a sign of things to come in future seasons, then itís too bad we wonít get to see if the show would continue down the engaging path weíre given a glimpse of. The story picks up at Michael and Saraís (Sarah Wayne Callies) wedding reception, which is unceremoniously interrupted by a police cavalcade that place the new bride under arrest for murder. The good (and still pregnant) Dr Tancredi is shipped off to a womenís prison in Miami, where she is greeted rather poorly by the guards for her role in allowing Michael and Lincoln to escape from Fox River. When Michael hears of her mistreatment, he sets in motion a bigger escape plan than any of the other (seemingly hundreds) that heís pulled off before.

After a rather bland fourth and final season, The Final Break is a nice breath of fresh air for these characters, and a truly proper send off as well. All of the usual suspects (pun intended) are on board, including great appearances by Sucre (Amaury Nolasco), Mahone (William Fichtner), and, of course, T-Bag (Robert Knepper). Thereís even some new blood in the form of a female inmate named Daddy, and played by a more-butch-than-usual Lori Petty. Unfortunately, her performance is way over the top, making us forget that this is the same Ms. Petty that played the very feminine, even pretty Kit in A League of Their Own.

The actor who basically steals The Final Break, is Ms. Callies. She not only dominates the overall screen time but makes the most of each and every scene sheís in. Sheís been asked to do some pretty demanding things in this series over the years, but Callies does her best work in these 90 minutes, bringing a depth and emotional level to Dr. Sara Tancredi thatís been missing previously. Itís Calliesí work that really makes it shameful that we wonít get to see where the Dr. Tancredi-centric storyline could have gone with one more season, but at least she got a chance to shine in this role one last time. Foxís Blu-ray release more than does the show justice in the audio and video departments, but, unfortunately, the only extras are a pair of throw-away deleted scenes.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - November 3, 2009, 11:31 am - DVD Review
Keywords: escape, federal government, prison

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