(15) Running time: 95 minutes
Director: James Mather, Stephen St Leger
Writers: James Mather, Stephen St Leger, Luc Besson
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
I have been looking forward to Lockout for ages, and I finally got to see it on the big screen yesterday and I can tell you that I was not disappointed. Just how this balls to the wall action film will fare later on DVD might be different, it needs to be viewed on the big screen with a great big sound system. Lockout is exactly what cinemas were made for, and even though I watched this on a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon, this is the perfect Friday night action flick to switch off to.
The plot see’s Guy Pearce playing a man simply called ‘Snow’, and in a hilarious banter moment with Maggie Grace, we learn that it is NOT his surname, it is his one and only name. A later joke about his name sums up the good natured fun of this film perfectly. So, Snow is Guy Pearce in his first major, leading action role, and let me tell you this; he fills the role perfectly! Pearce brings character, wit and some staggering action scenes to this film which is far too much fun than I ever thought it would be. Snow is wrongly accused of murder and espionage, and in a plot that is wafer thin, he is asked to head to a prison in space to save the President’s daughter Emilie (Grace). Snow agrees, with reluctance but tons of confidence, and he heads off to MS-ONE. The prison, where convicts are held in an induced sleep for their entire time there, has been taken over by the convicts after a slip up by a Secret Service agent. See, Emilie is there to see just what the effects of this sleep status has on the prisoners, and it is her bodyguard who stupidly sneaks a gun in, allowing all Hell to break lose.
Snow is helped along by the Secret Service, and he heads on in to the prison to locate Emilie and bring her back safe, while he also has his own agenda to take care of. I won’t tell you what, but to be honest, the plot takes a back seat to a simple, full on rollercoaster ride of action, wise cracks and superb villains and dodgy Secret Service. Lockout requires you to leave your brain at home and just sit back and enjoy the ride, and if you can do that then there is a hell of a lot to enjoy here.
Many will probably pick holes in the films plot, moan about certain things in space not being believable, or even complain about just how easy things often come together. Know what I say to that? Sod off with your nitpicking, stop being some bloody up yourself and for once, just enjoy a film on face value. Lockout doesn’t ask you to think, it doesn’t ask you to contribute or put in any effort. What it does ask, is that you enjoy yourself, and if you can leave your need for things to be absolutely perfect at home, Lockout will provide the most fun you can have in 90 minutes, and just might have you coming back for a second viewing.
I loved this film, it reminded me of the action films of the 90’s, where you didn’t have to be big or clever, but you did have to be fun. So what if Snow could not have survived that fall, who cares that Emilie would not pass for a man, it aint prejudice that the main villains are Scottish, and it certainly isn’t wrong to laugh out loud at Snow’s wise cracks. Lockout is meant to be fun, it has everything action films used to have: minimal plot, a terrific lead character who will have you laughing over and over again at his one liners, it has the hot damsel in distress, dodgy Government Agents, superb villains (Vincent Regan is the serious one, and Joseph Gilgun will have you laughing out loud when really you should be disgusted), the action rocks, the special effects are flawless, the pace is perfect and Luc Besson brings his unique brilliance to the proceedings. Here is a film which cries out: “No, I am not perfect, I don’t want to be perfect, but I do insist you have a good time” So do as it says and just have some fun!