Posted: April 26, 2012 in Film reviews

Directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger. Starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace

Every once in a while a film comes along that moves you, that touches your soul and makes you a better person, which speaks to you of the universe’s hidden truths.

Lockout is not that film.

It’s the future (a fairly un-futuristic future it has to be said, looking more like now but with added spaceships) and MS1 is the world’s most secure prison because A)  it’s in space, and B) the prisoners are all in statis.

The President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) is on a visit to investigate human rights violations and as part of this she has them wake up one of the prisoners. For reasons that are never made clear they choose to wake up the most psycho prisoner they have.

What could possibly go wrong eh?

Before you can say “weren’t you in Lost?” the prisoners have taken over the station and have the President’s daughter hostage.

With a major assault out of the question the CIA decide to send a lone operative to infiltrate the prison, get past the 500 inmates and rescue the girl. The man they choose for the job is disgraced former agent Snow (Guy Pearce) a man so sardonic he makes James Bond, Snake Plissken and most characters played by Bruce Willis look like humourless automatons.

Obviously Snow doesn’t want to go, but he isn’t given much of a choice in the matter.

If this sounds unoriginal it’s because it is. If it sounds terrible it’s because it is.

It’s also almost ridiculously enjoyable.

For a start it has no pretensions about being anything other than what it is: Escape from New York, in space! It does what it says on the tin, and these days that’s kinda refreshing. Add into this a wonderful performance from Guy Pearce, who it seems was born to play a wise cracking action hero (who knew!) a script that features so many wisecracks I can only imagine the producers kidnapped Shane Black…then cloned him half a dozen times,  Maggie Grace proving yet again that she’s more than just a pretty face, and  Vincent Regan and  Joseph Gilgun as a great pair of villains, although Gilgun does appear to have been snatched from a homeless shelter in Glasgow…

So yes it’s unoriginal, yes the editing is odd and the effects variable and yes the story doesn’t always make sense, but you know what, it’s entertaining!

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