April 16, 2012

Movie Review: Lockout

There is something about a Luc Besson produced movie that I really like. The movies do not always make sense but there is something about the way he goes about making movies and the influence he has over the talent that he works with that just makes them work for me. Now, the movies are not quite as good as those made when he was directing, with movies like The Professional and The Fifth Element, but sometimes that isn't the point. With Besson productions, it is all about the entertainment, just look at movies like Kiss of the Dragon, Taken, and Transporter. Any depth is purely coincidental, at least that is how I see it.

With Lockout we have a movie that feels like a retelling of Escape from New York. Seriously, the first time I saw the trailer, that was the movie that popped into my head. Not really a bad thing, it just is. Actually, it made me think about all those old rumors about John Carpenter wanting to do a third Escape movie, Escape from Planet Earth. I have no idea of any of them were true, but I wanted to think they were. This is probably the closest we will get to that.

There is something about this and many of Besson's other films that remind me of the good old days of B movies. Recently I have been lamenting the apparent death of the B wmovie, there are very few if any old school types still around, I think Besson may be one of them. This is very much a B movie. Entertainment over substance.

Lockout is exceedingly simple in its setup. You have the President's daughter caught in a hostile environment where a full frontal assault would be an unwise decision. The only way to even have a hope to save her is to send in a lone man who can potentially sneak in and out. The problem is that it is likely a suicide mission. This brings us to that man who has nothing left to lose. In this case we have Snow, wrongly accused of treason and promised to be cleared of his crimes if he succeeds. So, off he goes to face off with a host of bad guys and hopefully fulfill the mission before he is killed.

We can certainly go into more as the mission could also lead to Snow being able to clear his name, or the concept of a prison space station where the prisoners are frozen and potentially used in unsavory experiments, or the dynamic among the prisoners. But, it is a bit more fun to watch as the ridiculousness plays out on the screen.

Guy Pearce stars as Snow and seems to be doing his best to channel Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken, except for the eye patch. It is pretty clear he is having fun playing the over the top, sarcastic Snow. It is a shame he doesn't get more prominent roles, you may not be able to tell it by this, but he is a really good actor. Then there is Maggie Grace, who isn't quite as helpless as she was in Taken, but pretty close. They make an entertaining tandem taking on their colorful opposition. Peter Stormare appears as a CIA agent out to stick it to Snow and he is always entertaining. On the station we get Joseph Gilgun as a crazed psychopath of the first order.

Seriously, this movie makes little logical sense in terms of pacing and ho characters move around. Stuff happens just way too fast and characters get around this station with ease. I didn't care, I was having too much fun. If you just want to have some silly action packed fun, Lockout certainly fills the bill.



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