Review of Lockout

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A man wrongfully convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered freedom if he can save the president's daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates. Starring Maggie Grace, Guy Pearce & Peter Stormare.
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How many incarnations of “Die Hard” have there been? Everything from planes, trains, and automobiles have had a lone wolf facing off against terroristic foes holding hostages but i’m not sure I can recall one that has taken place in space, which made “Lockout” an interesting idea from Luc Besson (“Taken”, “The Fifth Element”) and his writer-directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger. Just this seems more like lost in space than Yippy Kay yay mother f*****.

Guy Pearce more than ably steps into the role of Snow, an ex-CIA operative in the, usually, bleak and dingy-looking future whose been framed for a murder he did not commit. While in transit to MS-One, a newly designed space prison which keeps its inmates in a state of stasis (important little tidbit: this can cause psychosis), the president’s daughter (Maggie Grace) also happens to be visiting the facility on an investigative mission. Only a problem occurs, and soon Snow is being asked to protect her from the rest of the asylum.

Pearce, an actor who’s always been identifiable as the smart-man’s action hero in “LA Confidential” and “Memento”, sheds that persona a bit here to play more of a sarcastic, hard-ass anti-hero and he easily comes away as the most entertaining thing about this movie. The two lead thickly-Irish accented villains, played by Joseph Gilgun (wild-eyed lunatic) and Vincent Regan (the smart one, thus the one with most contempt), are also fantastic sociopathic adversaries. But they wander around with nothing to do. Early on the movie gives us a special effects sequence that wouldn’t even pass muster in a video-game nowadays (that the directors try to distract you from how cheesy it is by trying to speed it up only makes it look more artificial), and from there the movie never finds its footing as an action film, offering up a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it array of gun-battles and fist-fights, and an ending that screams anti-climatic.