Mitchel Waite © 2020

Lockout [2012]

“Escape From New York in space” was how I envisaged this movie, unfortunately I was disappointed. After the interestingly fresh opening titles of Guy Pearce’s punchy interrogation, Lockout had all of the aspirations to be the Saturday night roller coaster it should have been. However, after a let down of one of the poorest uses of CGI I’ve ever seen, the film struggles to re-ignite the dead fuse. It involves a motorcycle chase out of 2079 New York which is reminiscent of something from a bad 1990’s music video attempt at sci-fi.

The directors, James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, appear to do little to make the action unique, exciting and even fast-paced. They seem to like imitating Michael Bay’s lens flare and rotating-cameras-around-a-meeting-room-table shots, but not to the same heightened effect. Overall, the camera work just seems very dull and standard. For a film from Luc Besson and the producers of Taken, I was expecting some unique flare to a few shots. The production of the MS One prison is impressive considering the $30 million budget.

Guy Pearce is the saving grace of the film, earning his salt in the action realm and he does very well with what he has been given in the script. He’s not quite Snake Plissken, but he’s there in the back of his mind. Maggie Grace turns in quite a good performance as a strong female lead, and has good chemistry with Pearce’s chauvinistic Snow. Peter Stormare was a welcome addition when I saw his name on the poster, although I had to suspend quite a bit of belief  to see a Swedish sounding actor play the American chief of the Secret Service. As for the film’s villains; can anyone explain the reason for the Scottish accents, when it’s not even the actors native accents?

Thankfully, the 95 minute running prevented the film from being bloated. Lockout will have its fans, but I can’t see it turning into a cult classic in the future.

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