Posted January 26, 2012 by David Watson in Films
 
 

Lockout


Remember Escape From New York?

Remember Escape From New York? Where New York’s been turned into a
prison and the convicts are holding the President hostage?
And the only man who can save him is antihero Kurt Russell (doing the world’s best Clint Eastwood impersonation)? That was a cool movie, right? How cool would it be if they remade it IN SPACE? Turns out, pretty cool.

The
year is 2079 and the USA has gone from being the world’s policeman to the
world’s jailer, building maximum security prison MS-1 IN SPACE and filling it full of the world’s worst prisoners,
cryogenically frozen for the length of their sentence. Escape is impossible and as the
prisoners are ice lollies, there’s no violence, no abuse. Unfortunately, the convicts happen to
wake up in a bad mood, riot and seize the prison on the very day the President’s
daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) is
visiting on a humanitarian mission.
AND ONLY ONE MAN CAN SAVE HER, wisecracking antihero Snow (Guy Pearce), an ex-CIA agent who’s been
framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
The prison also happens to hold the only man who can prove Snow’s
innocence. Can Snow infiltrate the
prison, save the girl and clear his name before the authorities blow MS-1 out
of the sky? What do you think?

Brought
to you by the same people who gave us The
Transporter
films and transformed Liam
Neeson
into an aged action hero in Taken,
Luc Besson’s Europa, Lockout is defiantly daft,
unpretentious entertainment, a throwback to the muscular action flicks of the
‘80s. The effects may be a bit
cheesy and the action scenes a little formulaic but the film is something
that’s in short supply these days; it’s unashamed fun. It’s not trying to be hip or ironic,
it’s just trying to entertain you.

Pearce
makes a pleasingly louche, laidback, wisecracking antihero, spitting out
one-liners even as he takes a beating and he’s ably supported by creepy Peter Stormare and sympathetic Lennie James as the government agents
who give Snow his mission. Grace
thankfully isn’t too annoying in the thankless damsel in distress role and Vincent Regan and Joseph Gilgun, despite deploying the worst Scottish accents since Michael Caine played a Jacobite in
1971’s Kidnapped, are fun as the
convict ringleaders, with Gilgun particularly good as the rape-happy psycho.

It’s
not going to change cinema but Lockout
is far better than it has a right to be.
It’s a funny, fast-moving thrill ride and should hopefully be the final
nail in the coffin of the official Escape
From New York
remake/reboot which none of us want and MUST NEVER HAPPEN!


David Watson

 
David Watson is a screenwriter, journalist and 'manny' who, depending on time of day and alcohol intake could be described as a likeable misanthrope or a carnaptious bampot. He loves about 96% of you but there's at least 4% he'd definitely eat in the event of a plane crash. Email: david.watson@filmjuice.com