I offer my opinions on Lockout, a science fiction action movie starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace, directed by Stephen St. Leger and James Mather.
A renegade CIA Agent (Guy Pearce) is wrongly accused of murder and framed for a crime. He has one chance of redemption – to rescue the President’s Daughter (Maggie Grace) from MG1, a space prison housing the world’s most dangerous criminals – who have broken out of their cells. And to make matters worse the prison is in freefall – and it won’t be long before it hits the eastern seaboard.
This film is essentially Die-Hard in a space prison. It’s nonstop action, right from a brief prologue which tells you of how Agent Snow (Pearce) got framed, before shipping him out into space to rescue the President’s Daughter. Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) also doesn’t just get to sit around and play damsel in distress for Snow either – she gets plenty to do and both actors are one of the better parts of the film. There’s also Scott Langral (Peter Stormare) who is the Chief of the Secret Service, and Harry Shaw (Lennie James), a CIA Agent who seems like Snow’s only ally. In the prisoners camp you get the two brothers Alex (Vincent Regan) and Hydell (Joseph Gilgun), the latter of whom is slightly more psychotic than the other one. Alex is the leader of the revolt, with Hydell being the unhinged instrument.
Filmed mostly using green screen, it’s obvious where they’ve chosen to use CGI because not everything looks as clean cut as it should – some bits stand out more than others. There’s also multiple logic gaps in Lockout – that require a large amount of suspension of disbelief – and both Snow and Warnock are fairly stereotypical characters despite the strong performances from Pearce and Grace.
The film itself is also fairly predictable. You know Snow will rescue Warnock so the tension in some of the scenes where Hydell has captured her (as more often than not, it’s Hydell) is robbed. But if you put all of this aside, Lockout actually manages to be entertaining. For one, it’s short, standing at a total of 95 minutes, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome. There’s also the fun aspect that comes with a fight in a space prison – although the film could easily have been adapted to take place in a prison on Earth without much difficulty.
Guy Pearce is having a lot of fun in the role of Snow – the wisecracking CIA Agent. There are plenty of amusing scenes with Pearce in them – but also Gilgun manages to pull off Hydell’s character unnervingly well. However, despite this – most of the cast are forgettable and will unlikely stay long in your memory – much like the film itself.
The action sequences are fun and entertaining and the back-and-forth bickering between Snow and Warnock never gets old. However, it’s unlikely the sort of film that you’d want to go back to and rewatch, but the fun is still there for the majority of its running time.
For a film that I’ve been wanting to see ever since I first heard about it due to its concept, Lockout slightly disappoints in the lack of tension. If you want a film with tension in space – go watch Gravity – which coincidently, is almost the same length of running time – but on the whole, Lockout will still remain enjoyable and a decent action flick.