Lockout is like a relic dug up from the ‘90s because the plot is a composite of elements taken from Escape from L.A., Fortress 2 and many other action/Sci-Fi flicks from that era. I can only surmise screen writers James Mather and Stephen St. Leger wanted to make a retro tribute – if that was the intention they succeeded.
Guy Pearce plays futuristic CIA agent Snow, who’s framed for murder when a mission goes wrong. Fortunately for him the President’s daughter Emilie Warnock, (played by Maggie Grace) is taken hostage during a fact finding visit to a high security space station prison where the convicts are kept in stasis. So Snow gets the chance to redeem himself by going to rescue her.
Formulaic to the nth degree, the plot proceeds as the escaped convicts take over the prison. They are led by two Scottish brothers; Alex (Vincent Regan) and the deeply psychotic Hydell, brilliantly portrayed by Joe Gilgun. As you expect, Snow and Emilie have to team up to fight off the inmates and escape the space station. Further complication is added as one prisoner holds the key to clearing Snow’s record. What lets this movie down is its predictability. You can almost guess Snow’s one liners before he says them. Nothing in the plot is a surprise or even vaguely innovative. Without Joe Gilgun‘s character all the cast would have been one dimensional movie stereotypes. Emilie is a throw back female lead, only there to be threatened and rescued. She doesn’t seriously try to fight back or take control, it’s all down to Snow to do the hard work whilst she complains and makes the inevitable switch from hostility to romance.
Having said all that, I did have a nostalgic fondness for Lockout, I can imagine renting it on VHS from my local shop or watching it on ITV late night on the small portable I had when I was a teenager living with my parents. If you fancy a trip down memory lane and have a couple of hours to kill then go see it, but you’d be best saving some money and waiting for the home release.
Directors: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Stars: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan
Runtime: 95 min