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Caught this late Friday night with my girl after the Drake gig and had
a good night overall. After being on my feet for hours it was good to
sit on my arse at twelve on the night and just switch off and enjoy a
mindless bit of action. And that's exactly what 'Lockout' offers. If
you've seen Luc Besson's Europacorp action flicks you know what to
expect. I love all of them and this was no exception. Guy Pearce is the
show stealer as Agent Snow, the John McClane of the space age. His
wisecracks and mindless violence keep your attention. Maggie Grace is
as good as ever as the damsel in distress and the supporting actors do
a bang up job as well. Almost stealing the show from Pearce, but not
quite, is Joseph Gilgun as the nutty Scot, sure to make you laugh once
or twice, even if you're hating the film. The effects are well done,
the action over-the-top and exciting and it's overall good late night
entertainment. As with all these sorts of films, I'm sure critics and
serious Sci-fi nuts are going to hate. But as I always say, for people
who can switch off and enjoy a bit of brainless fun, this is a must.
Let the haters hate and the watchers watch.
I'd skimmed a few reviews inc Ebert's (avoid, even if you skim to the
end, he spoils it) and didn't expect much.
Really enjoyed it. Yes it's a re-tread of Escape from New York but who cares.
Good pace, strong acting (Pearce is a given but Gulgun the real revelation - genuinely emotional stuff) Anyone who slates this movie has lost their inner child (or mid-teen) watch it for what it is, not for what you think it reminds you of.
Enjoy, and make up your mind before you let others do it for you.
It's fair to say Luc Besson has gotten a bit giddy ever since "Taken."
The man who once upon a time brought us "La Femme Nikita" and "Leon:
The Professional" has instead taken to lighter action fare, in this
case recruiting amateurs James Mather and Stephen St. Leger to help
write and direct his "original idea." Exactlynot a "story by" credit,
but "original idea."
That's not to say "Lockout" isn't creative, but it's definitely not original. Some might dub it "Taken in space," especially considering it borrows that film's starlet in Maggie Grace, but it's much more akin to "Escape from New York in space." Either way, "Lockout" is another simple- concept action film from Besson, only it has a bigger ego that gets in the way sometimes.
"Lockout" is good for kicks, a fact of which it's very aware. Guy Pearce's Snow, the morally questionable and reluctant hero written so closely to the archetype he almost transcends it, weirdly. He has a sense of humor best described as abundant (though sometimes quite clever), and Pearce plays him especially wry; most actors (think Nicolas Cage) would've hammed it up too much or been unconvincing.
Snow is tasked with rescuing the president's daughter (Grace), who is stuck on a maximum security prison in space that has incurred a major security breach. These are the world's most dangerous criminals, plus they have been in stasis for any number of years, which has made them even nuttier. Joseph Gilgun as Rydell, one of two Scottish prisoners trying to run the uprising, is a particularly deranged fellow reminiscent of a demented Groundskeeper Willie.
Both Rydell and the other main baddie, Alex (Vincent Regan), have a cold-blooded edge that could have made for an effective R-rated ransom thriller reminiscent of late '90s films like Air Force One, but the devil-may-care attitude of the entire movie ultimately clashes with these darker moments, even though they do make you take the movie more seriously than you would otherwise.
After a little bit of context at the beginning to properly motivate Snow, both he and us are effectively shot from a canon. The story only slows down a bit toward the end, but it mostly plays out as a series of dominoes. The action doesn't satisfy so much as the pace and the threat of violence (now here's a good example of how you do PG-13 violence), but it's well done aside from an opening motorcycle sequence shot on green screen and outfitted with an effects job that really shows the budget.
Aside from that, the futuristic sci-fi elements stay pretty classynothing overdone or distracting. The gadgets provide some creativity to a number of the sequences and the script manages to inject some unpredictability into a story that could not have a more obvious trajectory.
Despite the self-awareness at points, with a lot of that credit going to Pearce, Lockout tries especially hard to be entertaining on too many fronts, aspiring to be the consummate popcorn flick rather than just identifying one tone and sticking with it. The final scene on the space prison strangely evokes the original "Star Wars" Death Star run, as if to make sure the audience gets to munch on some sci fi/fantasy before the credits roll.
It's hard to fault "Lockout" for aiming to please considering that that spirit seems to be the driving force behind the movie's strengths as well as its weaknesses. Although the number of attempts at humor might catch some folks off guard, "Lockout" offers what anyone interested in the film would expect, if for no other reason than its built upon tons of tropes from previously effective movies. In turn, "Lockout" is effective, but not too much more.
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I loved this fun thriller, especially Guy Pearce as a wise-cracking
agent sent to rescue the President's daughter from outer-space prison,
where she's been making a charity visit.
There's lots of humour (especially in the first scenes - it's like Pearce is doing a Philip Marlowe impression) and the action is non-stop.
I was a bit puzzled that the inmates in America's top-security prison all seemed to be from Glasgow and that it seemed to be co-starring George Galloway, but the performances are great. Pearce is really cool and the psycho prisoner acts his socks off.
If you're used to watching thrillers, you'll guess a lot of the plot turns but overall I believe it deserves to be getting a lot better reviews. Overall, it was great fun.
I was kind of inclined to headline this as being the movie guaranteed
to make highbrow film fans froth with incredulity. That anyone could
enjoy such a derivative, tongue-in-cheek, low ambition piece of
schlock, is surely cause for venomous spleen venting from the serio
film brigade. They call them guilty pleasures, but thing is, I just
don't feel guilty about having such a wonderfully fun filled great time
with the Luc Besson produced Lockout.
Plot? Well it's the future and basically Guy Pearce (Snow) is wrongly convicted of a crime and sentenced to do stir in stasis until whenever. But up in space at the MS1 prison facility, home to all the maniacs found in Demolition Man, the president's daughter, do-gooder babe Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), is suddenly taken captive and it's a big hostage situation. This looks like a mission for a serious hard bastard type! Well Snake Plissken wasn't available, so they get Snow, who is bulked up, full of wise cracks and has a point to prove. Guess what follows? Yep, complete popcorn frenzy as Pearce and Grace cut a swathe through MS1 and have a date with coolness personified.
On the way, via a truly gorgeous sci-fi affected Blu-ray print, we will tick off the homages and influences and compare notes with our viewing partners about how it's a Snake Plissken movie but with Shane Black type dialogue. While those who are partial to a bit of sci-fi design are well served here. Because even though there might be the worst CGI effects ever during a chase scene (that mercifully only runs for 50 seconds), the space ships, sets and Torsion System sequence, prove that you don't need Michael Bay type bucks to please the eyes. From the quite brilliant and hilarious opening interrogation beat down, to the big reveal and punch line, this Besson produced piece is serving popcorn with a smile to a certain segment in the film watching populace.
With bits of the Snake Plissken movies, Fortress, Die Hard, Commando, Demolition Man, Minority Report, Last Boy Scout and any other quip laden dude/wronged man on a mission movie, Lockout clearly lacks originality. But seriously! Was anyone involved playing it as anything other than a sly homage movie? No, they wasn't. Pearce is great fun in the role, but he isn't trying to worry the highbrow crowd's votes for films of the year. Anyone viewing it expecting something cerebral should feel more guilty than those who stand up to say they had a great time watching it. Ingem Ferem. 7/10
Come on people, watch it for what it is. Yes it's silly, it's supposed
to be. It looks great and slides down easy. Guy Pearce is a blast to
watch as he struts and mouths off throughout the film in a manner I
haven't seen since Bruce Willis in the Last Boy Scout. This is an 80's
action movie at it's core set in space. One of failures of recent
action movies trying to be an 80's action flick is that they forgot
that the hero needs to go up against a memorable villain. In this we
get 2 brothers that actually deliver the goods. Add in a fancy Star
Wars inspired ending and you have fine Friday night escape.
Don't think too hard and enjoy the trip.
If you are looking for a film to pass (or waste) the time and don't
want anything mentally challenging, this film is for you. It's not
nearly as gory as it could have been (and that's not a complaint). The
film does not tell us much about the characters' backstories, but
somehow you don't really care--this is a film about dueling
The point of the film is that the characters are supposed to get through a veritable obstacle course filled with villains, to arrive at a rescue point, but in the film, you never have any real idea if they are getting any closer, or indeed, where they are in relation to their destination. The film also sets up various time limits--a race against the clock--but never gives you a real sense of a countdown.
The actual means of escape is so preposterous and scientifically impossible it's not even worth thinking about.
The acting was adequate. The script and direction had serious problems. This might be fine for background noise on the TV at home, when you don't really have the time or inclination to pay attention to it. I would not recommend that anyone go to a theatre and pay money to see this, as it is on the low end of mediocre.
First off, Lockout is not meant to be taken seriously. It is a fun
action sci-fi movie that breaks the boundaries of what it physically
possible. Remember when you were a kid playing with your little action
figures in the sandbox, well that is how they designed Lockout. They
forgot about what is real and what can actually be done and simply had
Guy Pearce is hilarious and teamed up with Maggie Grace the laughs just keep rolling. It is an action, sci-fi, comedy that is amazingly well crafted if you can take your thinking cap off and just have fun. There are a few plot twists, but nothing you didn't see coming. While Lockout doesn't really bring anything completely new to the table, it is very entertaining and well worth multiple viewings.
Due to mixed reviews I did not expect much, but Lockout really impressed me with its style and fast paced action. Other reviews has said that the special effects looked terrible, that is simply because of the style. One thing Lockout has is style and solid direction and cinematography. They knew what they were doing with this movie and they pulled it off perfectly.
The PQ & AQ were great on Blu-ray and while the special features were lacking, it is still a solid Blu-ray release.
I found this to be a great, fun, well-acted, funny, and "unique" take
on the typical action films of our our past. I say "unique", because it
is not, in any way, unique. I give that the setting is something new,
but all in all, this movie pulls from great movies past, and in doing
so, made off with a seasoned, enjoyable film.
Guy Pearce was flawless and oddly fresh as the standard "I don't care" action hero. The Snake Plisken-gone right character was the driving point of the whole film, and definitely the best part. Maggie Grace pulls off her best performance yet, even well above her LOST and Taken characterization, showing that a "Taken"-style damsel doesn't have to be in distress. The villains were all over the board in this film, with neither one taking complete center stage. All of them equally hold the necessary torch for the situation.
This is a story that has been told before, but in a new way that is fresh and fun. The acting makes this movie truly what it is, and with solid action, and excellent pace, I believe this subtle action film may be the best yet of the year (future films not comparable).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unusual in what way, you might ask.
Well, typically, films that do the celluloid equivalent of saying "Physics, Schmysics!" do not sit well with me. There is just something about abuse of the natural laws that really winds me up.
Lockout does this on a few occasions, most notably at the end with the re-entry scene, but at intervals throughout.
The thing is, I was finding the movie so enjoyably stupid, that it didn't annoy me! This is a rare event. I was entirely able to overlook the abuse of physics because the rest of the movie was.... fun! I won't pretend it is a masterpiece. It has plenty of flaws. But the film as a whole made me ignore its failings and just enjoy it.
There are some truly (and I mean this sincerely) god-awful CGI effects in the opening scenes that had me wondering if I had made a terrible mistake in sitting down to watch it. But once past that, the general "doesn't-take-itself-seriously-at-all" nature of the film reassured me to the point where I actually enjoyed it.
Some films take themselves too seriously and I am always ready to slap them down if they ignore basic things. But Lockout never did take itself for anything but silly entertainment and, as a result, it works. At least it did for me.
Part Taken, a lot of Escape from LA. Throw in larger than life characters and actors that are happy to ham it up a little and you have a fun little film.
At the box-office it did poorly, though I'm not entirely sure why. It will probably sink into obscurity in the years to come but, for now, its a fun ride.
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