Directed by James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Starring Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace
Running Time 95 Minutes, Rated PG-13
1.5 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/ movieswithmitch.com
The hero is falling from outer space, through Earth’s atmosphere, and gently parachutes landing safe and sound. You and I know that that’s not how physics works. I don’t care if the film takes place in 2079. Irish newcomer directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger are willing to budge or seismic shift on such details in their debut “Lockout”, in favor of the reckless B-movie action spirit. Stealing from the Die Hards and Escape From New Yorks as it does, “Lockout”, is a major fail, as dizzying action sequences bore and silly one-liners did not turn this reviewer’s frown upside down.
Guy Pearce, the same The King's Speech, Mildred Pierce thespian bulked up and snarked up to play wise-crackin Agent Snow. When Snow is set up for a murder he didn’t commit, he’s sentenced to the dreaded MS One, the Maximum Security One prison that’s in space. Prisoners are subdued in “stasis”, a deep sleep that has negative effects on the brain and goofy effects on the actors affected by it.
Meanwhile... First daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) is at the space prison on a humanitarian objective. Her interview with a blurry eyed and scarred skinny Scotsman inmate goes wrong as he breaks free, takes her hostage, while expelling his older Gerard Butler-reject brother and the rest of hundreds of crazed inmates. This was all done quite easily, thanks, some part, to the most inadequate secret service agent ever put on film, but you still think it would be tougher for criminal lowlights to be able to fully operate a space station- these are some of those details that got budged.
So Snow takes the deal to save the President’s daughter and his freedom, not without some much maligned sarcasm of course. From there it’s poor special effects, poor quips, and poor action sequences. Rinse and repeat. There’s nothing wrong with proudly wanting your film to be a white trash party, but I was surprised by just how boring “Lockout” was. Produced by one of the B-movie’s leading voices in Luc Besson (Taken, Transporter films), “Lockout” will fall short of the pulp thrills for his usual audience.
Pearce does his best, but he’s no match for another slovenly pulled action flick that defines derivative.
“This” defines derivative.