“Lockout” Review: Relentless, Fast-Paced Action that Helps & Hurts It

Lockout is the latest action/thriller from Luc Besson (Taken) follows a similar formula of his other action films.  Lockout jumps right into the action and refuses to slow down. The premise is somewhat original with many elements from other future isolated prison films.  I think the best way to describe this movie without giving away too many details is that is a cross between John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York” and David Fincher’s “Alien3” (minus the alien of course).

Guy Pearce plays a wise cracking, hardened government agent who, following some misunderstanding with his superiors, has to go into space on a solo rescue mission for the President of the U.S.’s daughter (Maggie Grace) who is trapped on a run wild women-less prison holding murders and rapists used for conducting experiments.  Okay maybe the premise is not too original.

Pearce’s portrayal of Lockout’s Snow is one action movie fans will like, he can take a punch while delivering effortless one-liners (much like Bruce Willis did in Die Hard).  But I will say the zippy comebacks get annoying at times, some were great zingers I will admit but there are some that were unnecessary.  You got the idea Snow didn’t give a crap about anything without them.  Maggie Grace was a typical damsel in distress, nothing much else to add there.  The villains were kind of creepy, Joseph Gilgun was off the wall but predictable and same could be said for the leader played by Vincent Regan.  I actually thought of Peter Stormare as Langral as the major antagonist rather than the prisoners.

Like I say in the title, Lockout has action from start to finish which has advantages and disadvantages.  The very original special effects were fantastic and fight scenes were well done which made the movie go by very fast.  The problem with so much action is that the story gets jumbled or rushed.  Besson used this for “Taken” and it worked out for it, but with Lockout there were some things missing or flaws in the story.  One was there seemed to be some references to the President being like a tyrant by Pearce’s character but it is never really explained.

Overall Lockout was a fun movie, great action with so-so acting and an interesting outer space setting.  7/10 stars for me, maybe if it were 15 minutes longer it could have made up for its flaws.

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