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A movie directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger

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A Lazy, Uninspired, Bland Action Movie

  • Apr 14, 2012
Luc Besson is one name that also gets my attention when it comes to an action film and “Lockout” is one such film that is based on an idea of his. Take note: it says based on Besson’s idea. The film seems to be a tribute to all the brainless action movies that have graced multiplexes in the past. Ok, perhaps ‘tribute’ is not the right word, the film pretty much takes all the molded leftovers and cookie crumbs left behind by those action movies.

                      Guy Pearce as Snow in ``Lockout.''

It is the year 2079, and dangerous prisoners are being kept in a sleep-like state in a space station orbiting the Earth. Some of the station’s practices and political motivations have been questioned and it is up to the president’s daughter (Maggie Grace, Taken) to get the facts behind them with only 4 Secret Service operatives to protect her . Things go awry and the space-prison is seized by its inmates being led by Alex (Vincent Regan), and they take hostages. Washington of course sets for a rescue mission, but things prove to be risky that only one man may be able to penetrate. Enter Snow (Guy Pearce), an ex-CIA operative who has been framed for the murder of a friend and is on his way to the orbiting prison. Snow must rescue the president’s daughter and try to gather evidence to clear his name….

                   Maggie Grace as Emilie Warnock in ``Lockout.''

                   Joe Gilgun in "Lockout."

There is nothing inventive or imaginative about the film’s plot. The script by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger screams and echoes the action films of the past. It borrows elements from “Escape From New York”, “Demolition Man”, “Die Hard”, “Star Wars” and even “Ronin”. It's crude and rude, and it moves quickly enough to hide the many imperfections of its script. It would have worked if it stuck to a campy, ‘not to be taken serious’ tempo , but despite the way it sets its groundwork, the weaknesses of the script were just very obvious that one would need to lower his IQ to find some positives in the script. I know it may be meant as a sly satire, but there is just something that bothered me with the script; I mean that final scene was just…I am not sure, what it was.

I mean, the film’s scripting leaves a lot to be desired--it is your typical ‘paint by numbers‘ kind of deal. It relies on the viewer’s ability to assume and suspend disbelief. Details come from left field, and the plot is heavily contrived. Motivations are never clear, and it tries to do so much in adding subplots to its already flimsy plot. The writing is very unfocused, and sure, unfocused scripting can be alright if the intentions were merely to display eye candy effects. It also fails since the effects are all very bland. The set designs looked like a series of mazes at times that never made sense, albeit I liked the somewhat rough exterior to the prison itself. The characters are your usual cliché, and never for one minute did I feel even a tiny surge of thrills and suspense. Oh, yeah, I did like one manic homicidal character in the movie, albeit he was your usual psycho baddie. The film is very lazy, and trust me, I was expecting so little when I went to see this one.

                      A scene from "Lockout."

                      Guy Pearce as Snow and Maggie Grace as Emilie Warnock in "Lockout."

Now any bad movie can have its own share of positives and “Lockout” also has its share of positives. There is some good action sequences in the film, but they are all lacking any emotional content. The film moved very fast, as if to simulate its supposed intensity, and cover up its many plot holes. Much of the film focused on Snow and the president’s daughter as they try to work their way out of the station. I have to admit, Pearce and Maggie Grace struggled to establish any sort of chemistry, but some of their exchanges were genuinely funny. I laughed with Pearce’s quick, dry sarcasm delivered with a serious face and was even amused with Grace’s reactions to them. Yeah, but those were the only things that allowed me to endure this movie.

                        Guy Pearce as Snow in "Lockout."

This was an idea by Besson and I know the guy is one straight shooter. I loved his stint as director in “La Femme Nikita“ and liked his writings in “Taken“, “Kiss of the Dragon“ and “Danny the Dog“ films, which proved clever in their own way. But this movie just isn’t Besson. I suppose the movie may have been re-written so many times that it loses all similarities to a Besson creation. I know it may have been an echo from the past and perhaps it was made to make fun of itself, but this movie fails to even be a dumb satire. Oh, well, no one is perfect.

SKIP IT. [1 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "Lockout." 

A Lazy, Uninspired, Action Satire... A Lazy, Uninspired, Action Satire...

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May 20, 2012
Excellent review as always! I recently had to endure this drivel with my friends last night. Thank God it was at a dollar theater instead of one of the big cinema's, where If I had to pay more than five bucks to see this I would promptly demand my money and my brain cells back. This is a shallow, inept and altogether derivative film that adds nothing new to the genre or even manages to be at it's worst (and there are some rather depressing lows in this film) an entertaining bad movie. And I also must admit that I to did enjoy the quips between Pearce and Grace, they were good together, not much chemistry but they were good.
May 20, 2012
Great comments! For me, Pearce and Grace had some good exchanges but the chemistry was more like a brother and sister rather than what the direction had intended. This was so bad that I had to go see another movie that day. This makes "Battleship" almost seem like a masterpiece LOL
May 20, 2012
I agree with you on the direction of the chemistry between Pearce and Grace, it felt as if the directors were going towards sexual instead of divorced couple and in the end achieved a rather weird mix of both. And I heard "Battleship" was just horrendous, yet my dad(who never really had good taste in films to begin with) thought it was good, judging by your quip I guess it was as bad as my gut told me.
April 16, 2012
Nope, this one isn't for me!!! The hubby may like it since he seems to like space-type stuff. Again, a rental for him while I snooze on the couch!! Thanks Will...
April 17, 2012
I like space stuff and I disliked this one movie. :(
April 18, 2012
Well then it must have been bad...really bad...LOL
April 18, 2012
the only thing I enjoyed in it were the short exchanges between Pearce and Maggie Grace LOL!
April 16, 2012
Sounds like I will wait for the rental man, I am still kinda interested in this one. Great review.
April 17, 2012
This may indeed be better suited as a rental--I have a feeling it may have an unrated edition which may be better. "Doom" was a lot better on DVD than in theaters.
April 14, 2012
I was mildly interested in this movie but at the same time, held a lot of cynicism for it, given that the trailers make it look like all the other pap that's infesting the action genre today. I'll certainly take your review into account and save my bucks for something more worthwhile like another Front Line Assembly album or a lunch at KFC.
April 15, 2012
Yeah, this had a good concept but such a concept would have to be carefully written. Too bad the filmmakers were lazy this time around. I guess if this was made in the 80's then it may have been good. That would be a good decision to save your bucks for something more worthwhile.
More Lockout reviews
review by . April 13, 2012
In the later part of the 21st-century the worst criminals the planet has to offer are kept safely away from public in stasis aboard an orbiting prison known as MS: One. Although it is never explained in the film, it does not take a rocket scientist to guess that "MS" stands for Maximum Security and much like the rest of the movie "Lockout", this is a film that does not aspire to be more than the sum of its heavily borrowed parts.     The film stars Guy Pearce as Snow, a special …
review by . July 24, 2012
There’s something to be said for never trying too hard.  Take Luc Beeson, for example.  He’s been making films for decades, but he really hasn’t been trying all that hard since THE PROFESSIONAL.  And, yes, I know all about THE FIFTH ELEMENT.  I’m one of those rare sci-fi junkies who thought much of the movie was garbage.  At the time of its release, I believe Luc Beeson was all over the place in interviews bragging about how he wrote the script for …
review by . April 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'Lockout' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree This SciFi Futuristic Thriller Falls To Earth (Video)
By Joan Alperin Schwartz         The year is 2079...And in this so-called SciFi futuristic thriller, entitled 'Lockout', 500 of the most violent criminals are kept in a state of suspended animation on a space station orbiting above earth.  This high tech penitentiary is known as MS One.   I say so-called, because the sleeping prisoners are the only aspect of this film that can be deemed,futuristic or even, scifi. …
Quick Tip by . April 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Ok so based on the trailer, it looks like this could be a desent movie. There looks to be a bunch of action and some humour. Almost like Die hard or Lethal Weapon. Im liking the premise too, I always liked Original Science Fiction stories, its like a breath of fresh air into a genre defined by Star Trek and Star Wars.      Overall The film looks good, I cant wait to see it.
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William ()
Ranked #1
Please "Like" Film and Movies and Keep the Economy strong....LOL!!      My Interests: Movies, Anime, History, Martial Arts, Comics, Entertainment,Cooking, Things I don't … more
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