Review: Lockout

A mindless science fiction action shooter, while entertaining and fun it isn’t intelligent enough for me to appreciate.

Guy Pearce plays a CIA officer named Snow who after being wrongly convicted is sentenced for time onboard a orbital prison space station. As bad luck would have it, the President’s daughter is surveying the prison when the inmates break out and take control. Snow is now the only man who can get her to safety.

Lockout got my attention by having Luc Besson’s name attached to it, though unfortunately he was only one of three men who worked on the screenplay and the film is “Based of an idea by Luc Besson”. Hm. The film therefore is the creation of debut director James Mather.
It looks good, the prison has a robust and functional appearance, the prisoners are psychotic and threatening and Guy Pearce has a great sense of dry wit and cynicism. He never takes things seriously and it looks like he’s having fun; a lot of the film’s merit comes from Pearce’s performance.

However… story and narrative fall very short. Lockout is an entertaining waste of time and little more. True, I have seen worse: I would recommend Lockout over 2012’s Total Recall any day of the week, because at least Lockout has the good decency to be an original piece with original characters! It is just a shame this high-octane rollercoaster doesn’t slow down a little more to explain how things work and who characters are. It is literally a science fiction video game with the objective: “Rescue the Princess”.
I found myself in the final climax wondering why an orbital prison would need automated turrets all over it… or how a state of the art prison falls apart as soon as one prisoner gets hold of a gun. Wouldn’t they have procedures and high-tech security against that sort of thing?

But, I appreciated it for what it was, a mindless science fiction action film, and a unique one at that. If you like this sort of genre or just want to waste time, give Lockout a watch.

Additional Marshmallows: There is one of the worst CGI sequences within the first ten minutes though… I kid you not, this was Ultraviolet (shudder…) levels of awfulness. Fortunately you can forget it almost immediately.

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