Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lockout (2012)

I saw this movie over a year ago and took scant notes so my review will be short. To get things started, Lockout was originally edited to get a PG-13 rating when released in theaters. I watched the Unrated Edition on Blu-ray.
Lockout is the first feature film from directors James Mather and Stephen St. Ledger, who previously collaborated on the short film Prey Alone. Most of Mather's movie credits are as a cinematographer. Luc Besson (director of Léon: The Professional and The Fifth Element) has writing and producing credits on the film.
When I saw the trailers for Lockout I thought it looked like a lot of fun even if it didn't end up very good. After having seen the movie I can attest that is exactly as advertised: an enjoyable action B-movie.

The story is pretty simple. A former government agent, Snow (played Guy Pearce), is framed for a crime he didn't commit. Snow makes a deal to gain his freedom in exchange for rescuing the President's daughter from a space station prison orbiting the Earth where the inmates have taken over. As you can probably tell from my plot synopsis, this flick takes a big influence from the Snake Plissken movies since both feature a rogue coerced into undertaking a dangerous mission to a prison area overrun with inmates in order to save the President/President's daughter. Lockout is probably as close as we'll ever get to the proposed "Escape from Earth" Snake Plissken movie. While Lockout isn't as good as Escape from L.A. let alone Escape from New York, it's still a fun throwback romp. There isn't much new here, but Guy Pearce manages to elevate the material by making his character Snow always fun to watch. Snow has some great witty dialogue, including plenty of one liners. I think it's fair to say that without Guy Pearce Lockout probably wouldn't have been anywhere near as entertaining. Luckily Pearce is here to make Lockout a blast and he is by far the most memorable part of the movie.

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