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Snake Plissken In Space! LOCKOUT

Apr 15, 2012 (Updated Apr 15, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Bang For The Buck

Pros:Fun action movie with lots of not too gory violence, and pretty explosions.

Cons:That's all it is.

The Bottom Line: If you want 95 minutes of mindless entertainment, here it is.  They did a good job making he movie; they should, they have made it so often before.

Lockout (2012) Directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger

Langral: Look, I don’t want to hurt you.
Snow: Is that why you’re having him do it for you?

The year is 2079, and Snow (Guy Pearce) is a CIA operative.  Something goes horribly wrong at an exchange of information, and in a clustermuckedup double cross, Snow’s contact is shot, Snow leaves with the briefcase full of top secret information, and the police are hot on his trail.

Snow manages to avoid death and capture by an unbelievable series of heroics, luck, and competence (and I use the word unbelievable deliberately and precisely).  He manages to pass the suitcase off to his contact Mace (Tim Plester) who manages to stash it before he is taken down.

Now, here’s the bad news.  There is tape of Snow shooting his contact.  He’s been set up.  And it looks like Langral (Peter Stormare) is the one holding the frame.  But Snow has a friend, Shaw (Lennie James) the good cop the Langral’s very bad one.

No help there and Snow is sentenced, without benefit of a trial, to 30 years in suspended animation aboard MS One, the orbital prison.

Enter serendipity.  Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) daughter of the president is on her way to MS One on a fact finding tour; there are suspicions MS One is really a laboratory for experiments in deep space survival.  There is of course, a break out.  She is of course a prisoner, and Shaw, of course suggests Snow as a way to get her out without a blood bath.  And more to the point, Mace is already on board MS One.

There you go.  Snake Plissken in space.

So, we have already determined this movie will have no political message, or socially redeeming value.  It’s a vehicle for Guy Pearce to be a bad@$$, and to have some creative mayhem.  So measured on those standards, how does it do?

Fair.  We have seen this movie before, staring Kurt Russell, or Christopher Lambert.  But it does have excellent production values, and they don’t skimp on the bad guys.  Not only are these the 500 worst criminals on earth, the freezing process is thought to possibly cause heightened aggression due to brain damage.

Representing the prisoners is a pair of brothers.  Alex (Vincent Regan) is the brains, the one who assumes control of the station once in prisoners hands.  Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) is his little brother.  He reminds me of a line by the Joker, “It’s like giving a loaded gun to a monkey or a small child; you don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s probably going to be on the news.”  Joseph Gilgun is my choice for the role of hillbilly rapist if they ever remake Deliverance.

So, we have a nice dichotomy between evil, and cynical on the side of the angels.  Emilie makes a third category, well intentioned but naïve.

Guy Pearce really does do better with more dramatic roles; he is ruggedly handsome, well built (a fact they could have used to their advantage with more skin) and does surly headstrong very well.  I just think it’s a waste, because there are plenty of actors out there that can do that, and not much more.  Pearce is capable of roles that demand far greater.  That said, the chemistry between he and Maggie Grace helps carry the romantic elements necessary to a clichéd Hollywood action flick.

And the directors do manage to deliver very good violence, artfully negotiated to achieve a PG-13 rating, and to keep it coming at a pace that keeps the tension.  And that is what action movies are all about, is keeping the tension high, but not so far your nerves snap.  I have to say, they did that well.

So, on the plus side: Guy Pearce, great violence, and a fast paced tempo that keeps your rushing past plot holes.  Joseph Gilgun as a memorable villain.  On the down side: we have seen this movie before.  Repeatedly.

Recommend this product? Yes

Movie Mood: Action Movie
Film Completeness: Looked complete to me.
Worst Part of this Film: Plot

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