Don't think too hard and enjoy the trip.
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Don't think too hard and enjoy the trip.
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.
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.
Yet, it is not boring, quite the contrary. It has a very special 'Je ne sais quoi' to it. I so wanted to use that in a review for which I want to apologies to you.
I enjoyed it more than most films I have seen this year. Perplexed to explain what makes it unique without spoiling it for you and considering my first sentence, I will say after much reflection, seeing it with very low expectations would be the best. It will allow you from the start to get into the world the directors are painting for you, couple that with a possession of a twisted sense of humor and you will find a gem of a movie in there.
In short, for what it is, it is a gem.
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 classy—nothing 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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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
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.
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.
Some of the non-Besson films/TV series that Lockout reminded me of are Army of Darkness, Cowboy Bebop, Die Hard, Escape from New York, Fortress, Firefly / Serenity, Minority Report, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
I can see that Lockout, like most of the other movies I previously specified, can also have a cult following. So I truly hope the current generation will like this movie enough to give it a chance to have a sequel. Sometimes, you just need to relax your mind and allow it just the right amount of activity to enjoy a fun cruise like this type of films can provide. More power to Mr. Besson!
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).
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.
The script is, blatantly put, stupid. The actions and logic of the characters are stupid. Absolutely everything in this movie is rubbish.
Ignoring the eternal sound-in-vacuum issue, here I come:
Flying up to the geostationary orbit at 22,236 miles above the surface of the Earth in half (one, two, insert your own) an hour? 500000 prisoner capacity yet the cell number format is A000, thus generating only 26000 possible combinations? Non bullet proof glass in a super high security prison? Possible to smuggle in a gun in a high security prison? Everything is dark and shady in a high security prison? Possible for two people to breath out the whole air in a room sized 8ft x 20ft x 20ft in five minutes? Gravity generators? Star-wars like bomb placement? Getting from 20k miles down to earth takes 30 seconds and it's possible to do it in a rugged space suit? Dementia? Closets with mirrors? Plots? Secrets? Rupert?
And it's only a minuscule write-down of the things that quickly popped out in my memory after watching this piece of art.
Of course there is more depth to the plot, but not too much, the majority of the film is the two main characters running around and barely making it through doors, that can not be broken through. There is also a sub plot that could have been more interesting than the actual plot, and may be used in the hope of a sequel.
Lockouts action is good, and many of the prisoners look intimidating. However the movie fails to really connect with anyone, and the movies hero only delivers snarky comments instead of real dialogue, making him one sided. The movie is also entirely predictable leaving no room for surprises. There is the seasoned veteran man saving woman aspect, but unfortunately this is not taken.
I would say that Lockout is not a complete loss, but a better rental than movie trip. Despite being similar to other movies Lockout is not a remake or sequel, making it one of the few original works in the past few years.
Don't waste your time unless you want a movie to make fun of.
Acting was mediocre to just plain bad.
The constant one liners became annoying.
The plot or plots was very choppy and messy. It seemed like the movie was just one plot from what the trailer displayed, but another plot was brought into the movie at the beginning. However, that plot got lost during most of the movie and then it was brought up again in the end to try and make some sort of epic ending to a mystery. It fell beyond short with both plots terribly portrayed and very loosely connected. Honestly I felt barely, if any connection between the two. In other words this movie was written, directed, and acted by what appears to be Kindergarteners.
Nothing flowed and the effects were B-rated
This movie was an absolute disaster.
* 1/2 (out of 4)
A former CIA agent named Snow (Guy Pearce) is framed for a murder he didn't commit and is about to be sent to a prison in outer space when something bad happens. It turns out that the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) was on the prison for a humanitarian effort when the convicts broke free and have taken her hostage. Now Snow is offered his freedom in exchange for getting on the prison ship and saving her. Yes, this is certainly a major rip-off of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK but without the charm, excitement and great characters. It's really a shame LOCKOUT turned out so bad because it could have worked on many levels. Back in the early 80s there were a whole slew of rip-offs coming out from Italy, Germany and various other countries and these would play in drive-ins or low-rent theaters. LOCKOUT could have worked like those films but the direction here is just so poor that it's really hard to be caught up in anything going on. It also doesn't help that the film is burdened with a PG-13 rating, which takes away any possible sleaze aspect and you can tell that certain scenes appeared to be cut down to avoid anything too graphic. This is really silly because there are points in the film where people are decapitated and there are jokes built around such events and yet it's all editing down. Another problem is that the direction just never packs any punch in regards to drama, action and even the fight scenes are boring. The characters are all standard stereotypes and none of them are interesting. This is especially true of the Grace character who is just downright annoying, stupid and you can't help but hope something bad happens to her. Pearce at least turns in a good performance even if it is rather sad seeing someone so talented appear in stuff like this. The one thing the film does have going for it are some pretty funny one-liners and they're perfectly delivered by Pearce. LOCKOUT could have been something but what it turns out to be is a silly, low-rent action movie trapped in a PG-13 universe with direction that just keeps bringing it down.
Now, stupid stuff: - Law enforcement\specops operators shooting in a city almost indiscriminately, including using a helicopter-mounted high-caliber gatling gun to shoot an apartment building\hotel (unclear) room - Unlikely interrogation techniques (punching the person into the face repeatedly, without any variation) - Convicting the person of murder based on visual evidence from a single person (?); allegedly, he shot someone, though in reality other people outside the LOS of the witness did that... you'd assume forensics would show that several other bullets fired by two other people from two locations killed the victim, but all the ballistics experts were apparently on vacation at that time - The whole notion of a cryoprison in space (having it underground\underwater would be more logical and a whole lot cheaper; Mr. Besson, that's an idea for your Lockout 2) - 500k max capacity of a space prison; and yes, someone here noticed the pod indexing system does not allow for that capacity - Tech discrepancy - gravity generators vs old-tech weaponry - Waking from "stasis" is quick and painless, the subject is fully active right away, the only person suffering any long-term ill effects is the one who has to tell important information to the main character - Maximum security space prison with no measures to provide said maximum security (virtually no guards, open spaces with no doors, storage of criminals in "stasis" pods without any restraints whatsoever so they can do whatever they want once they're opened, ability of a single technician to open all pods, no remotely controlled and\or automated turrets) - External prison defenses (from whom?) which can't be shut down from the "low orbit police station", even from the "low orbit police station" which has no apparent reason to exist at all (all space traffic we see or hear about is government traffic) - President's daughter on a fact-finding mission, absolutely hilarious - Secret service agent willing and able to smuggle an ankle-holstered gun to a cell with a convict who then has a chance to get a gun; besides, considering security glass separating the restrained prisoner from the interviewing daughter of the POTUS, presence of an armed person next to the prisoner is absolutely superfluous - Said SS agent losing his ankle-holstered gun to said restrained prisoner because the latter was a great pickpocket (sic!) - Need of the space prison's orbit to be constantly corrected, lest it crashes onto Earth... and the only person with the know-how to do it is the warden, with no backups \ automation \ remote guidance - Only one single-seated evac pod for the whole station (it's maximum security, right?) - However, two heavy-duty spacesuits capable of crossing the gap between the station and earth's atmosphere in mere seconds, withstanding the heat of reentry, and outfitted with a quick-release system conveniently deploying their occupants on a nice parachute are readily available (so that maintenance personnel can go to Earth, if necessary?) - People dying from vacuum almost immediately - Unexplained room where oxygen is sucked away or consumed by POTUS's daughter and her bodyguard (unclear), which results in heightened nitrogen levels in her blood (sic), requiring her savior to give her CPR by means of a defibrillator, mouth-to-mouth and an epinephrine injection... no, not into the heart, as usual, for this time they got creative and he had to do it through "the center of her eye into the brain" (anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the functioning of the human body will laugh their behinds off) - Main villain constantly putting himself in situations where his homicidal younger brother can "disappoint" him - X-wing-vs-death-star tactics to blow up the falling space prison instead of using missiles\fail-safe scuttling device - Sound in space, as always - Many more you'll be lucky to miss, together with the whole movie
Unfortunately, despite the fact that Besson both co-wrote and produced Lockout, the film just doesn't live up to its billing.
Guy Pearce stars as Snow, a former CIA agent convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in stasis aboard an experimental orbital prison. At the same time, the President's daughter, Emily (Maggie Grace) arrives at the prison for an informal inspection. When things go wrong and the inmates take over the prison, Snow is offered a chance at redemption if he agrees to go in and rescue Emily before she gets killed.
It's a pretty good concept despite some similarities to Escape From New York, but the execution is poor. It starts incredibly well, showing off the film's sense of humor and a surprising amount of charisma from Pearce. The always-sarcastic-and-egotistical schtick, however, wears thin after about 15-20 minutes and we're left with a surprisingly unsatisfying action picture.
The set pieces are surprisingly tame and altogether underwhelming, an issue that may be somewhat alleviated by the "Rated-R" version of the film that was released in other countries, including Canada.
The action is further hindered by extremely below average visual effects which only make it harder to take it seriously. There are a couple of effects near the beginning that are so bad that they pull the viewer completely out of the movie, something unforgivable in a modern action film.
Grace is adequate as Emily, a typical more-than-she-seems-to-be damsel in distress. Her interactions with Snow are decent, but again, tame. The dialogue is OK at times, awful at others. The conflict and tension between Emily and Snow is often manufactured and rarely makes sense and each situation exists solely to service another scene later. There is no rhyme or reason to a lot of what goes on, which would be less noticeable in a film with more intriguing action.
The film's supporting characters, including the inmates, are given no development, so even though the performances are fine, they lack depth.
In fairness, the film makers do get a few points for tossing in a couple of curveballs that actually make sense and don't seem out of left field, but in the end, the lack of interesting set pieces makes the film's other flaws stand out even more. Lockout had a lot of promise, but fails to follow through on almost any of it.
The amateur mistakes of Lockout are covered by some rather intriguing CGI and action sequences. It isn't enough. When a movie bases itself on reality, it is supposed to stay there. In the opening scene, we watch as our protagonist—portrayed by Guy Pearce—falls several stories off a building and isn't injured in the least. I could go on and on about the terrible action writing, but there is no need. It's enough to say that the writing gets in the way of the actors and story time and time again.
I was surprised by the actors in Lockout. Guy Pierce, Maggie Grace, and all the prisoners did a rather fine job with what they were given. I enjoyed Guy Pierces constant sarcasm and Maggie Grace's activist side. In the end, however, they were given a script that was extremely sub- par. It doesn't matter how good your actors are when there is no depth to the film.
I must take a moment to reflect on the future world that this movie constructs. For anyone who has looked through the website FutureTimline, you will see that most of the developments that the characters talk about are realistic. Most. However, on the most important front, the movie fails completely. In sixty years, we will not have orbiting jails or low-orbit police stations. The entire movie is based on these two concepts, and they just don't fit in the near- future premise.
The only way I can recommend this movie is if you are a big fan of Guy Pierce or Maggie Grace. Even then, I have a hard time. I love near- future movies. If you do to, just watch I, Robot or Minority Report again. Lockout does not do the genre justice. If Luc Besson were in charge of this entire project, I suspect it would have been great. Unfortunately, amateurs were left in charge. All the amateur mistakes piled up until it was too much. Lockout is yet another example of a script being approved before it reaches its full potential.
Guy Pearce plays a wise cracking, hardened government agent who, following some misunderstanding with his superiors, has to go into space on a solo rescue mission for the President of the U.S.'s daughter (Maggie Grace) who is trapped on a run wild women-less prison holding murders and rapists used for conducting experiments. Okay maybe the premise is not too original.
Pearce's portrayal of Snow is one action movie fans will like, he can take a punch while delivering effortless one-liners (much like Bruce Willis did in Die Hard). But I will say the zippy comebacks get annoying at times, some were great zingers I will admit but there are some that were unnecessary. You got the idea Snow didn't give a crap about anything without them. Maggie Grace was a typical damsel in distress, nothing much else to add there. The villains were kind of creepy, Joseph Gilgun was off the wall but predictable and same could be said for the leader played by Vincent Regan. I actually thought of Peter Stormare as Langral as the major antagonist rather than the prisoners.
Like I say in the title, it has action from start to finish which has advantages and disadvantages. The very original special effects were fantastic and fight scenes were well done which made the movie go by very fast. The problem with so much action is that the story gets jumbled or rushed. Besson used this for "Taken" and it worked out for it, but with Lockout there were some things missing or flaws in the story. One was there seemed to be some references to the President being like a tyrant by Pearce's character but it is never really explained.
Overall it was a fun movie, great action with so-so acting and an interesting outer space setting. 7/10 for me, maybe if it were 15 minutes longer it could have made up for its flaws.
Meanwhile, the idealistic daughter of the president of the USA, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), is visiting MS One, a maximum security prison in outer space expecting to find evidences that the prisoners are actually guinea pigs of a huge corporation. When one of her bodyguards loses a hidden pistol for the dangerous prisoner Hydell (Joseph Gilgun), he subdues the staff in the central control room and releases the prisoners, including his brother Alex (Vincent Regan) that becomes the leader of the riot.
Now the veteran agent Harry Shaw (Lennie James) offers freedom to Snow if he succeeds in rescuing the president's daughter. But the idealistic Emilie does not want to leave MS-One without the hostages.
"Lockout" is a movie with a well known storyline and nothing new, but also highly entertaining. The story uses the idea of "Escape from New York" and "Escape from L.A" with "No Escape" ("Absolom") and other prison movies. The tough Snow is a cynical and selfish antihero visibly inspired in Snake Plissken and the stubborn Emilie has stupid attitudes, but at least is consistent. The haywire villain Hydell is funny. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Sequestro no Espaço" ("Abduction in the Space")
OK listen I'll be the first to admit that the plot is recycled, the effects are Meh, and the script is pretty barebones. But the comedy saves this movie and makes it a real gem. If you find Pierce's character funny, you are are going to enjoy this movie period. So as Mr. Snow said "Here's an Apple and a Gun. Don't Talk to Strangers. Shoot them".
If you've seen Escape from New York or Escape from L.A., imagine them set in space and you've seen Lockout, albeit with Kurt Russell doing his best rather than with Guy Pearce taking the money and putting most of his effort into not smiling about the ratio of $$$ earned to effort exerted.
It's the 'near future' and the world's governments have decided the best way to deal with criminals is to spend millions (billions???) of dollars flying them thousands of miles to a high security, but lightly staffed, American prison in space whereupon they are put into stasis until their sentence is served and they are flown home. Quite why 1. stasis is a suitable punishment, bearing in mind it essentially pauses life without aging or loss of years, and 2. a costly space prison is a better place for comatose prisoners rather than a cheap, subterranean bunker is beyond me and directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger never bother to explain. One is also left to wonder whether Lockout needed two directors just so the blame could be shared.
Unbelievably, the prisoners are released from stasis, overthrow the staff, seize control of the prison and do very bad things. Rather than nuke it and start again, a rescue mission is launched because the President's daughter is visiting it on a fact-finding mission. Really? And who do they choose to rescue her? Naturally, it's Guy Pearce's Snow, who's been wrongly convicted of very bad things, who is called upon to beat hundreds of violent criminals and rescue Emilie (Maggie Grace) in return for a full pardon. Yeah, right! So, the plot is, ah, flawed but what about the acting? Pearce gives a performance that makes one wonder how he possibly enthralled in L.A. Confidential and Memento. Prometheus cannot come quickly enough for him to redeem himself, although the virals show early promise. Grace is about as convincing as my front door although Peter Stormare and Vincent Regan are competent, if not memorable as we've come to expect.
The standout performance, however, is from Joseph Gilgun, who is proving to be a versatile and most enjoyable actor to watch. Having served his time in Coronation Street and Emmerdale (at 257 episodes it sounds like his first prison sentence!) he delighted in Shane Meadow's This is England series and quickly banished the memory of Nathan when his character, Rudy, filled the gap in series three of the fabulous Misfits. Yes, in Lockout he's on pantomime villain duties but goodness knows it's a welcome rock to cling to in the swamp.
Unfortunately, it's a swamp that is all consuming.
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