The premise alone can make or break this film. You have a space prison. All hell is broken loose. There is the damsel in distress. You also have the smartass anti-hero. The result is Lockout.
It is the year of 2047 and there are prisons in space, which promise maximum security. On the one occasion that security doesn’t listen to the rules, all prisoners comes out of cryogenic statis (go figure). Stitched up Government agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is assigned to go into space, rescue the President’s daughter, Emilie (Lost‘s Maggie Grace) and bring her back to Earth.
Simple as the plot may be, co-directors Stephen St. Leger and James Mather (whose previous work includes series 5 of British dramedy Cold Feet) seems have made a meal out of it and bring down the mentality by several points. Inconsistent and clichéd at times, there is no doubt that Lockout is not meant to be seen as a serious film. However, even shutting down the brain for the 95 minutes doesn’t help the fun being sucked out of you from this film. The special effects were the biggest let-down; shoddy as hell and puts you off completely. And that’s within the first half an hour.
Pearce’s performance as main guy Snow, whose wisecracks and tendency for smoking almost reminds me of an un-mutant Wolverine, is not as intense as his earlier roles. He and Grace (the damsel) share good chemistry but you can’t really root for them, unless you’d miss the banter between the two. Misfits’ Joseph Gilgun and Troy‘s Vincent Regan do their best menacing face and Gilgun wins a mile off, making his character Hydell the one that you can actually tolerate.
There’s not a lot that can save Lockout from being what it is: 94 minutes of mindless fun. Perhaps if the makers, and producer Luc Beeson, put more thought into the plot rather than going down the nice-and-simple route, it could have earned a extra star or two.