The Rock in space? Action fans form an orderly queue. A wham-bam action sci-fi with no pretentions, Lockout has everything except Jason Statham in the lead role. Don't fret, though - Guy Pearce has the time of his life here.
It's the future and the world's worst criminals are housed in ice (don't say Demolition Man) in an impenetrable prison (don't say Fortress) orbiting the earth (don't say… well, that has to have been done already, right?). While investigating the rumours that suspended animation induces dementia in the prisoners, the president's daughter (Grace) finds herself in the middle of a full scale riot led by the calm and collected Vincent Regan and the nuttier-than-squirrel poo Joseph Gilgun (an unrecognisable This Is England's Woody). Who can save the day but the wise-cracking, ex-CIA, knows-how-to-take-a-punch, action hero Guy Pearce?
Impressed by their short film Prey Alone, Luc Besson (Fifth Element, Leon) gave Irish writer-directors Mather and Leger a shot at the big time with their feature debut and it looks like Besson could be happy with the result. A B-movie with a budget (some of the special effects are dodgy), Lockout is fun actioner that squeezes as many action scenes as it can, slowing down only so Pearce and Grace can flirt a bit before cranking things back up again. They lob in as many influences as they can (apart from Demolition Man and Fortress, there are hints of Escape From New York, Die Hard and anything you're having yourself) and even turn to the reliable bad guy mad coot: Gilgun is fun as he lays on as much psycho hard case as he does a thick Scottish accent. There's even an LOPD - that's Low Orbit Police Department to you.
Fun, yes, but it seems the writer-directors obviously had no shout when it came to the editing room - Lockout is rushed and cut asunder. In its quest to get through the story as quickly as possible, plot developments and turns are left on the cutting room floor leading to 'slight' confusion at times ('major' confusion would indicate that plot is important - it ain't). What could have done with a little trimming is the climax; Lockout has about three endings that would almost rival Return of the King.
But with the hammy Pearce spitting some corny one-liners and Stormare in Armageddon mode, Lockout could be a future guilty pleasure.
Review by Gavin Burke | 17:38 | Thursday 19th April 2012 | Movie Review
Favourite line of trailer: 'He's the best there is, but he's a loose cannon'. You just can't teach that kind of ear for dialogue.Posted 14:36 | Fri 20th Apr 2012
Following on from their calling card short film Prey Alone, Irish directing duo James Mather and Stephen St. Leger make a promising feature debut with Lockout. With the help of producer Luc Besson and an army of visual FX artists, Lockout is essentially Escape From New York in space. Guy Pearce is the laconic, wise-cracking ex-CIA operative Snow, called in to rescue the President's daughter Emilie after she's taken hostage onboard an orbiting prison in space. Not only does he have to contend with some initial hostility from Emilie, but he also has to deal with all the nutjobs and criminals that stand in his way. As always, Pearce gives everything he's got with an amusing performance not far off from Snake Plissken. The film moves at a fast, frenetic pace - perhaps almost too fast at times (that motorbike chase at the start looks more like a video game). A sequence involving a parachute is laughable due to its implausability, but this is the movie world and we're not expected to believe in reality. It's an enjoyable sci-fi action film, but the directors might want to think about finding a more original story next time around.Posted 22:53 | Fri 20th Apr 2012
This has to be the worst film i have ever seen. From start to finish this film is so bad on all levels. It was so bad i was looking to get my money back. As mentioned two of the main actors parachute from the space ship to earth, yes believe your eyes i said they parachuted to earth from space. Its the kind of film that the producer or actors should have said after two days of shooting, that the movie was rubbish and that it should have been scrapped. People in the cinema were laughing through out the movie in disbelieve at the bad acting and the overall story. Please do your self a favour dont even think about renting this movie when it is released on dvd. Im all for shutting the mind down for an all action movie but this movie was so bad that it wasn't possible to even enjoy any part of the movie with no brain at all.Posted 23:38 | Fri 20th Apr 2012
Gavin, how can you call yourself a movie reviewer and give it 3 stars. Surely a reviewer is looking for good direction, good acting, good cinematography, good script. None of which were present in this movie. This is the second review I've seen that has given it 3 stars. Are they paying you guys!!! Is it the Luc Besson tie in? Guy Pearce and Gilgun were probably the best thing about the movie. I don't normally post comments but I couldn't let you give this a 3 star review. The special effects were brutal. The script had so many plot holes it was hilarious. For a high security prison the security was pretty brutal!! The acting was the worst I've seen. Peter Stormare and the guy playing the president get particular mention in this regard. It was like all the other actors were friends of the directors thrown in because the look mean. I'm sorry, a three star review should reflect some redeemable factors about the movie. This does not have any.Posted 01:20 | Mon 30th Apr 2012
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