LOCKOUT (2012)

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Directed By: James Mather & Stephen Saint Leger
Written By: James Mather, Stephen Saint Leger & Luc Besson
Based On A Story By: Luc Besson
Based on “ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK” By: John Carpenter & Nick Castle
Cinematography: James Mather
Editor: Eammon Power & Camille Delamarre 



Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Lennie James, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun, Jacky Ido, Peter Stomare 


In 2079, in Washington, the ex-CIA Operative Snow is brutally interrogated, accused of treason against the United States. The chief of the secret service Scott Langral believes that he shot the agent Frank in a hotel room. Meanwhile, the idealistic daughter of the president of the USA, Emilie Warnock, is visiting MS One, a maximum security prison in outer space expecting to find evidence that the prisoners are actually guinea pigs of a huge corporation. When one of her bodyguards loses a hidden pistol to the dangerous prisoner Hydell, he subdues the staff in the central control room and releases the prisoners, including his brother Alex who becomes the leader of the riot. Now the veteran agent Harry Shaw offers freedom to Snow if he succeeds in rescuing the president’s daughter. But the idealistic Emilie does not want to leave MS-One without the hostages.

This is a fun movie as long as you don’t think too hard about it.

The hero is a character who seems to be indestructible practically and no matter the situation he has a one liner or a joke for the occasion. Which takes some of the excitement away from the film when you know the hero can’t/won’t die. So that even when he is in trouble you don’t believe it. While we wait to see how he will get out of it.

The villains here are disposable and never quite as menacing as they are supposed to be. Even when the film tries to shock you. It’s kind of predictable.

The film has a lot of energy but nothing really new or quite original to offer. It has a bunch of CGI effects mixed in with sets meant to represent spaceship corridors.

This is another assembly line action film with a sci-fi twist from the Luc Besson warehouse. Where he usually writes or co-writes or produces with a story by him. Action films that all have a similar flavor but usually take place In Foreign locales and involving different cultures. Films such as KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE TRANSPORTER FILMS, TO PARIS WITH LOVE. Well you can’t get more foreign than outer space. These are all films he could have directed himself as they contain A bit of his style. But lack his more artistic leanings. So he leaves it to his protégés. It’s like he has two sides the more artistic one that makes movies like SUBWAY, ANGEL-A, LA FEMME NIKITA where he takes a broad basic set-up and makes it deeper and meaningful with tons of memorable visuals almost like the films have their own souls be also has the popcorn entertainment side with explosions. He writes those films as a side job almost and those films fill his visceral joy and his bank account. Though he realizes they are soulless they are fun. Yet he doesn’t necessarily want them on his resume. Though they allow him to do his more smaller but rewarding projects. I say all this even though he didn’t direct this film.

Same story different locale only this time the story takes place in outer space. With less rules bit more area and ground to cover. With more humor than expected.

Guy Pearce stars in this and shows off what a journeyman actor he is. Who has leading man looks and pops up time to time in a leading role but seeks the career of a character Actor more. As he pops in from cameos to supporting but more often though his talent and looks lean more towards leading man. He seems at times maybe by choice to lack the charisma of a leading man. As he seems more quiet and to himself in his roles. Which seems more a natural fit for Ryan Reynolds. with all the wisecracking

The film ism meant to be a Sci-Fi film, but instead feels more like an action film that happens to take place in a sci-fi universe.

If you are looking for an entertaining time waster. This movie is the equivalent of cinematic junk food probably bad but so delicious and filling.

In October 2015, John Carpenter won a plagiarism case against Luc Besson over ‘Lockout’ proving clear similarities to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and ESCAPE FROM L.A. A French court ruled that enough similar distinctive elements from both Carpenter’s films were borrowed to merit a sanction.

Originally i thought this film would be closer to THE MARTIAN or GRAVITY about someone locked out of their spaceship and struggling to survive and the efforts to save them.

GRADE: C+

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