Lockout is exactly what the trailers make it look like. A clone of Escape from New York meets Die Hard aboard a space station that is a prison. Guy Pearce plays Snow, a n ex-CIA agent sentenced to MS One, the space station, for a crime he didn’t commit. When the President’s daughter Emily gets caught up in a prison break, they send in Snow to rescue her. That’s about the gist of the plot. From here, the movie moves at a brisk pace, going from point A to point B, skipping logic along the way. And for a movie like this, the ‘one man’ scenario, this is a bonus.
Make no mistake, this movie could have been better, and would have been had John Carpenter made Escape from the Moon, like he had discussed after the release of Escape from L. A. Is it a horrible film? No. Is it as great as it should have been? No. Is it worth seeing? If you enjoy sci-fi action films, yes it is.
What saves this movie is Guy Pearce. The character that he plays is not a Snake Plisskin clone, as the trailers make him seem. He is a smart ass, not particularly caring about anything or anyone. He doesn’t seem t have the dark, dangerous vibe that Plisskin has. He is not a hardcore soldier. He is a capable ex-CIA operative. What saves this film from obscurity is his performance and deadpan delivery of smart-ass quips, usually in the line of fire. It gives a fairly forgettable plot some laughs, and keeps the whole affair light and entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud a couple times during the film, due the the things he says.
While there is nothing particularly horrible about the film, there really is nothing memorable, except for Guy’s performance. Maggie Grace does a passable job as the captive turned assistant of Snow. She seems to have a monopoly on these types of roles, her performance in Taken springing to mind.
This is a hard movie to recommend seeing in the theater. There really isn’t anything here you haven’t seen before; it certainly isn’t memorable. But it is not a horrid film. While it is in no way a great sci-fi film, it does fill a void in the theater. We have had so few science fiction films of late, that it is nice to see one on the big screen.
Honestly, this film is cotton candy. It tastes pretty good while you’re eating it, but a couple hours later you forget you ate it. There is a strong performance by the always great Guy Pearce, in a film that is cotton candy.
Movie ** out of ****
- How Lockout Successfully Re-Constructs the Action Genre (justatad.wordpress.com)
- Lockout trailer: Escape from Space? (bizzam.wordpress.com)
- Lockout Wondercon footage (bizzam.wordpress.com)