Genre: Science-fiction, action
Director/s: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Running Time: 95 mins
Budget: $20 million (US)
Released: 13 April 2012
Lockout is a French science-fiction film set in the year 2079, about a man who’s been wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit and is offered freedom if he is able to rescue the U.S. president’s daughter from an outer space prison which has been taken over by the inmates. Well the premise is certainly interesting enough, that is of course until you realize that Lockout is Escape from New York (1981). So instead of Snake Plissken we have Snow (Guy Pearce), a CIA agent tasked with infiltrating the super max prison known as MS One. In Escape from New York, the film is set in the (then) future of 1997, and Plissken needs to infiltrate Manhattan Island (which has been converted into a super max prison) in order to rescue the U.S. president, so yeah…Lockout pretty much identical, but that’s not to say that Lockout is bad, quite the opposite as it is an entertaining (though predictable) film, filled with the usual sci-fi fare – space ships, space battles, and bad ass soldier-types, but the real entertainment value comes from Guy Pearce’s performance as his one-liners, quips and general devil-may-care attitude is genuinely funny. I say funny, because Lockout never tries to take itself too seriously, even though the film is moderately violent. One thing about Lockout that impressed me was what the filmmakers were able to do with the considerably meager budget of twenty million, and while the film only really jumps between three or four locations for the most part (earth, space, orbital police station and MS One), everything manages to look pretty good, CGI space battles and all.
Lockout doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, as I previously said, it is essentially Escape from New York…but in space. And while it is a predictably derivative film, it somehow manages to be entertaining and in my opinion, Guy Pearce’s performance prevents Lockout from falling flat on its face.