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Lockout

April 11, 2012

Snow: I am bringing you back from the dead.

The main issue with Lockout is the flawed narrative. The film opens up to a very intriguing action sequence – promising us crazy B-movie action throughout. What’s unfortunate is that Lockout is a pretty generic film with mediocre acting and scattered editing. Additionally, the film had an awful marketing run, classifying itself solely as “from the producers of Taken“, rather then “from the mind of Luc Besson, director of The Fifth Element“, which is clearly a better suit for the film. Having said that, I did have a reasonable amount of fun throughout, mainly due to Guy Pearce’s Die Hard-esque performance – although the film could have been a whole lot better. How does “space prison” hold up? Read on to find out, folks.

The main difference between Taken and Lockout is originality. Lockout is ridiculously packed with countless cliches from nearly every action movie I’ve seen. While I don’t recall watching too many “space prison” films, I couldn’t stop noticing countless similarities between this and Die Hard. What baffles me was the silly backstory given to Guy Pearce’s character, Snow. I doubt that a high amount of expertise was put into writing the film, but a little more character development would’ve gone a long way! While an action movie with the Memento actor would have initially given me a lukewarm reaction, Guy Pearce cannot save Lockout from being painfully unoriginal. 

What baffles me more is the fact that Lockout had no substantial reason to take place in space. Until the end, the fact that they’re in space isn’t really acknowledged nor do they take advantage of the many fun opportunities that could be done with CGI. Additionally, I enjoy films where the audience feels claustrophobic in their experience (Buried is a fine example) – Lockout fails to do so because of its lack of excitement in quite the setting. Space is cool and all – but it’s not cool unless we have some wicked fights literally in space – which the film is completely devoid of.

There were some good aspects here and there – the action bleeds B-movie goodness throughout, including some nifty effects, yet could’ve been improved with an R-rating. This makes me wonder if R-rated action movies are becoming extinct. Anyway, Lockout‘s few redeeming action sequences take place on earth, involving hand-to-hand combat. Even though I couldn’t get over the scattered shooting, I still found myself lovin’ this Guy Pearce persona. Some of the action is so ridiculous, it is almost impossible not to laugh – primarily a riotous car crash that’s overly crammed with CGI.

In the long run, Lockout could and should have been better. There’s no reason to put us through mediocrity. More importantly, these filmmakers shouldn’t put Guy Pearce through this kind of mediocrity. I’m sure that there’s a certain audience that’ll appreciate the film, and maybe love it, yet I doubt it’ll fall into the good arms of film critics. 

Lockout – 2 ½ out of 5

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