Lockout is more than up for the challenge of entertaining you for 90 minutes. And when something is done right, isn’t that something worth appreciating?
Lockout is full of every action movie cliché in the book. The film involves a lot of gunplay and even more scene chewing word play from lead character Snow, played gloriously by veteran Australian actor Guy Pearce. Practically every line that is spewed out of Snow’s mouth is action movie clichéd dialogue. But Pearce is more than up for the challenge.
As far as the film is concerned, you might as well have called Lockout: Escape from Space. The film is essentially an Escape from New York/L.A. rip off. A convict is given a reprieve if he can rescue the president’s daughter from a massive floating prison that orbits the Earth after being overrun by its own prisoners. Other than the location, that is literally the plot of John Carpenter’s early cult classic. As I previously stated the film borrows HEAVILY from tons of other action films, but the actors and filmmakers take none of this seriously and just go for it. The result is a very entertaining action film.
The film begins on Earth with Snow involved in a deadly shootout in an apartment. He escapes only to be pursued viciously by government agents in a chase scene that can only be described as utterly ridiculous. The FX in this scene are extremely poor. What’s really odd is that in later scenes the FX are outstanding. All this leads the viewer to believe that they were done poorly on purpose, maybe to suggest that the filmmakers know how ridiculous their film is. No one knows for sure.
Snow is captured and interrogated about what happened in the apartment. Literally, every single answer Snow gives is a wisecrack smart ass answer, each of them hilarious. Each of them earns him a right hook to the jaw. When I initially saw the preview for Lockout I had a lot of reservations about Pearce playing this kind of role. I’ve been a big supporter of his ever since he burst onto the scene in Christopher Nolan’s mind bending neo classic Memento. But as the film continued my worries began to ease. A friend suggested to me that Pearce would be perfect as Nathan Drake for the upcoming Uncharted movie and he is right. There is probably no other actor more perfectly suited for the role than Pearce.
Everyone remembers Maggie Grace right? No? Really? She’s the cute blonde girl from Lost and was Liam Neeson’s daughter in Taken. Here she plays the unfortunate role of the President of the United States’ daughter, Emilie Warnock. She arrives at the outer space slammer to investigate any wrong doing by the prison warden and his crew. There are rumors of the warden using prisoners as lab rats for some kind of drug. Well wouldn’t you know, a prisoner escapes and lets all of his friends out to play. They kill a few people and take the rest hostage and demand to be released before they kill more. The U.S. government offers Snow a deal. Fly up there and rescue Warnock. Get her to safety and he can considered himself a free man. Easier said than done right?
What follows is an hour and a half of action cliché after action cliché. The film knows all the right notes to hit and the actors are more than ready to play along with them. Lockout isn’t a great film by any means. Hell, you’ve probably seen this film at least 30 times before. You probably already know how it ends and what the final words of the film will be. I wouldn’t dream of telling you to drop everything and run out to see Lockout. But if you find yourself with nothing to watch and you’re looking for a great escape (no pun intended), Lockout is more than up for the challenge of entertaining you for 90 minutes. And when something is done right, isn’t that something worth appreciating?