Lockout is about a man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates. Pretty straightforward premise. Guy Pearce stars as Snow. A former government (presumably CIA) agent who’s really good at his job and has a wise-cracking mouth. The one liners were pretty funny actually. I found myself snickering and laughing despite myself. I did not have too high of aspirations for Lockout when I went to see it. It looked like a sci-fi action flick and I was in the mood for that. And I certainly got it! The action scenes were good but not gory or overly brutal. There was implied violence. I.e. a lot of quick camera cuts before someone gets shot in the head or if someone gets knifed, they don’t really show the wound. Just a blood soaked shirt, etc. They could have made it much rougher and made fight scenes more involved but they decided to go for the PG-13 rating.
The plot seemed pretty simple for most of the movie. Ex-government agent is wrongfully accused of betraying his boss and killing him. He’s quickly convicted and sentenced to 30 years in the new orbiting space penal facility where the inmates are put in suspended stasis. Said station experiences a prisoner revolt at the same time as the U.S. President’s daughter is visiting it on a humanitarian, fact-finding mission. Through a strange, quick series of events, the government decides that an all out assault on the station would result in the death of the first daughter and they need to send in one man to go in and rescue her. Of course, that one man is Snow. Who is destined to be incarcerated there anyway. But Snow has his own reasons for wanting to get on the prison station so he accepts the job. Action and a lot of smart alec comments ensue.
The main bad guys on the prison station are a couple British (?) brothers who are released from stasis. The younger brother is taken out of stasis to be interviewed by the first daughter and the older one gets out when all the other inmates are released. The younger brother is played by Joseph Gilgun ( He also starred in Harry Brown as Kenny in 2009) and he has a very thick accent. So much so, I couldn’t really understand him a lot of the time. I had to piece things together from his dialogue. His character is a bit of a ‘whack-job’ and has serious issues. The only one who can keep him in line is his big brother Alex. Who is played by Vincent Regan. Alex proceeds to take leadership of the prisoner rebellion.
All in all I liked Lockout. It didn’t try to be more than it was. There were a few “Yeah, right!” moments when something wasn’t believable but it wasn’t too bad (e.g. they have a machine that creates artificial gravity on the station, or the space fighters deployed to attack the station fly like fighter jets in the atmosphere. And my biggest pet peeve: explosions in space!). With a $30 million budget it did a pretty good job. It didn’t have any high profile stars so that didn’t distract from the story. So if you’re looking for a good popcorn, action flick check it out.
My Rating: 7/10