The nice thing about Lockout is it moves fairly quickly. The not so nice thing about Lockout is…it moves fairly quickly.
Most of the 95 minutes whiz right by until the underwhelming, and disorganized, climatic sequences. It’s as if the filmmakers slammed on the brakes in the car but all their passengers are still flailing around inside. Then again, what do you expect when you take a plot points from the Die Hard and Escape from New York/L.A. franchises and toss them up into space? Hell, they even ripped some angles from 1993’s Demolition Man (still a guilty pleasure of mine).
The generic story takes place on a space station that is now the country’s maximum security prison. Every sadistic inmate is cryogenically frozen these days and this gets the attention of the President’s journalistic daughter, Emilie (Maggie Grace). She flies up there to see if this treatment is having negative side-effects on the prisoners. Of course, the prisoners somehow manage to arise from their chilly naps and overrun the station.
While all the top brass realize the President’s pride and joy is being held captive up there, they cut a deal with special-ops man named Snow (Guy Pearce). Snow is accused of being a traitor to the U.S. but his apparent skills are just what they need to breach the hostile space station and secure Emilie. The constantly wise-cracking Snow accepts the terms of the mission, for he may have his own agenda for heading up into space.
If it wasn’t for Guy Pearce channelling his inner-John McClane persona from Die Hard; and splicing that with Kurt Russell’s demeanor from Escape from L.A. (not New York), this flick would be worthy of a walkout halfway through. The only other element that keeps one interested is the presumed leader of the resurrected inmates played by Vincent Regan. He has a quiet, yet deadly, charm about him and that’s with the script giving the guy just a few blurbs of dialogue here-and-there and occasionally putting a bullet in someone’s head.
Aside from those two redeeming qualities, the rest of this is a jumbled and shaky (thank you cinematography) clipboard of random boring action sequences with a little bit of conversation tossed in between. It’s essentially one giant trailer. So for those that would like some rationale or just a smidge of elaboration on a storyline, don’t even bother strolling into this sucker. There is not a shred of backstory on how society came to this point and/or why Guy Pearce is such a badass. It is what it is; a mindless B-movie that had the benefit of affording some passable CGI.
Overall, Lockout is the ideal movie jaunt for some adrenaline junkies. But even they will forget about this mash-up, despite Guy Pearce’s charismatic delivery, before they press their hands upon the theater exit doors.
RATING: 2 out of 5