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A movie directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger

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LOCKOUT: I Knew Snake Plissken. Guy Pearce Is No Snake Plissken.

  • Jul 24, 2012
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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 THE FIFTH ELEMENT when he was in high school.  Well, for the record, let me say that I thought THE FIFTH ELEMENT felt like a picture someone in high school had written, and I stand by that.


In any event, let’s get to LOCKOUT …


There’s no doubt in my mind that Luc threw this together after more than a few viewings of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (which studios have threatened for the last decade or so to reboot, but, thankfully, no one has made that mistake a reality).  Guy Pearce stars as Snake Plissken … oh, no.  Hold up there, partner.  Guy Pearce’s name in LOCKOUT is Marian Snow.  Snake Plissken – or should I say ‘the incomparable Snake Plissken’ – was played by the equally incomparable Kurt Russell (with direction from John Carpenter, no less).  Guy Pearce is a good actor.  He does a fine job with what he’s given.  But he is no Snake Plissken.  At best, he’s a wussified Snake Plissken, quick with the quips and the snarks whereas Snake would’ve used a club with spikes in the end of it.


In any event, let’s get back to LOCKOUT …


Emily Warnock (played by Maggie Grace) is the President’s daughter, and she decides to take it upon herself to visit America ’s first prison-in-space for the purposes of guaranteeing that the inmates are being treated humanely.  (Rumor has it that the cryogenic freezing process is somehow damaging prisoners’ brains once they’re thawed out for release.)  As luck would have it, her visit just happens to coincide with a break-out orchestrated by Alex (Vincent Regan) and his wickedly insane brother, Hydell (Joseph Gilgun).  What are the prisoners hoping to accomplish?  Well, we’re never really told, but before you can say spit they’ve released all of the prisoners.  Though they’re contained to certain regions of the station, apparently the designers thought it was a good idea to keep the important controls in areas sealed up with the inmates.


That’s just the first of many plot-holes and questionably gaps in logic presented in this B movie masquerading as an A-movie.  (Second: why is it that the station’s orbital defense weapons never fire on shuttlecraft but will regularly fire on any other type of approaching spaceship?  Third: why is that, once the prisoners break free, they just hang around in the same spot chatting with one another?  Fourth … well, I think you get the point …)


And it’s a shame, really.  So much of LOCKOUT actually looks very solid.  The effects are impressive – not perfect but expensive theatrical shots, clearly.  If there’s one significant downside to the prevalence of CGI in motion pictures, then it would have to be that the audience has largely been desensitized to the dangers present in any action sequence.  In simpler terms, there’s really no danger – hence, no tension – to showing Guy Pearce racing at 200 mph through the city streets when he’s obviously driving a CGI motorcycle on a CGI freeway while racing between CGI cars and trucks.  Tip to filmmakers: when it obviously isn’t real, there’s no reason to fear for Marian Snow’s fictional existence.


In any event, let’s get back to LOCKOUT.


On second thought, let’s not.


RECOMMENDED WITH SOME RESERVATIONS.  LOCKOUT never rises to be anything more than a respectable B movie or, at least, it’s safe to say that it never tries harder than a respectable B movie.  I wanted to like it more.  It certainly had some of the right ingredients, but it definitely could’ve used more Snake.

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July 25, 2012
the only time I felt entertained by this was when Pearce and Grace had their exchanges. This had all the things leftover from past action movies.
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review by . April 14, 2012
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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.      …
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 . April 10, 2012
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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.
About the reviewer
Ed ()
Ranked #12
What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops".   … more
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