Set in the not too distant future, Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential
) stars as a wisecracking government agent, Snow, who is wrongly convicted of murder & selling state secrets. But he may just have a way to redeem himself, as the presidents daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace -Taken
) who was visiting a maximum cryostatis prison in space to check on the well being of the inmates, is smack dab in the middle of a prison riot. Only one person would be crazy enough to go in there, Snow!
To start with it's quite obvious from reading the synopsis alone that this is a reworking of the classic Escape From New York
with Kurt Russell. None the less, Lockout turns out to be a very watchable brutish action movie, but with some intelligence thrown in there, in the shape of the sub plot rumbling underneath the main events. The action is fast, furious, brutal & smart in places, but there are a couple of far fetched moments that even the most hardened of action fans may raise an eyebrow too. The CGI & special effects used are pretty good on the whole with some exceptions here & there, but, considering the budget worked with it's not surprising. Some interesting ideas used in places, no doubt thanks the man who came up with the idea of the film, Luc Besson. But he will undoubtedly be pleased with the work that directors & co writers James Mather & Stephen St. Leger have managed to produce, in keeping with Besson's fast & furious action style.
Now, a film like this needs really convincing villains, and in my book, Joseph Gilgun (Emmerdale[Eli Dingle]) was impressive as the oddball psychotic inmate, as was Vincent Regan (Black Knight
) to the other extreme, as the more stable leader trying to keep him & the situation under control. Guy Pearce was solid as the wisecracking Snow, who shares more in common with John McClane from Die Hard
than Kurt Russell's more rugged & darker Snake Plissken. Maggie Grace was very watchable as the presidents daughter, having a good rapport with Pearce & giving as good as she got from Snow. Her father played by peter Hudson, less so. But the addition of the well traveled Peter Stormare (Armageddon
) & Lennie James (Colombiana
) added the much need gravitas that the film needed to give it that serious edge.
In conclusion, i found Lockout to be a watchable, if somewhat predictable action movie. But it manages to give a little ray of intelligence through the story about Snow, to cling too, through it's racing 1 hour & 30 minute run time. Another shining example after Colombiana of what Mr. Besson & Co. can do with a relatively small budget. Recommended.