Lockout, starring the always watchable Guy Pearce, is the sci-fi B-movie guilty pleasure of the year. Produced by Luc Besson and directed and written by a pair of first timers, Irish lads James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, who inject a whole lot of love of 80’s action films into this compact futuristic prison break out flick. Maggie Grace joins the muscle bulging wise-cracking Pearce on his mission to save her from the clutches of 500 psychopathic inmates. It would seem that movies set on large floating vessels haven’t fared so well in 2012, ahem Battleship anyone, and this one should come crashing down to earth. See it soon before it hits re-entry.
Sardonic is a characteristic not often associated with Guy Pearce’s roles over the years. As Government Agent Snow, he gets a chance to flex some of his more comic sensibility, albeit at the hands of a woeful script and ridiculous plot. His is a brutally cynical piece of work, dishing out tawdry one-liners while taking fierce beatings. With the prospect of incarceration for murder on the floating Space Prison known as MS ONE, we are, by the way, sometime in the near future, Agent Snow receives the offer of a lifetime – Can you help us? You are the only man for the job. Rescue the President’s daughter trapped up there and all will be forgiven. That’s the the plot. I know you have seen this before. The list of movies is endless, and despite the low end special effects and crummy script it is still ridiculously watchable. It’s got a slick pace and displays flourishes of chemistry with the two principals. The villians are right pieces of work, Vincent Regan in particular, who along with the other raging pysychos, dead beats and thugs are having a riot of a time, beating each other senseless.
All said and done it’s Pearce who saves the film from too much fan-boy love. His physical and natural acting abilities are a joy to watch. There is no doubt there was a good film here. For seasoned action heads part of the fun is dissecting the many plots and scenes and hero’s from the last 30 years of genre films. For me it was watching short but remarkable re-enactment of the death star approach scene from the first Star Wars with the X wing fighters, call me crazy but if you listen closely, I swear, you almost hear ‘Red Five I’m going in”.
Lockout is in cinemas 20th April 2012.
Directors: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Stars: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan
Runtime: 95 min