Bullet Points: Lockout
If you think that Escape from L.A. was too much like its predecessor Escape from New York then you might have a hard time with Lockout. Movies like these are like the Target brand of potato chips; they are cheaper, sure, but do they do anything that makes them better than the original? The easy answer with Lockout is NO. Fun….sure. But is it “based on an original idea by Luc Besson” as the opening credits state? No freaking way.
Synopsis: A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
- Guy: We’re introduced to Guy Pearce and his former CIA operative character while he’s being interrogated by a group of Secret Service agents. Their methods of interrogation haven’t changed much since all they’re doing is asking him questions and then punching him in the face when they don’t like the answers. This movie is supposed to take place in the future and it’s already making me suspend my disbelief based on the de-evolution of torture that the American government is willing to use. C’mon!
- Speaking of Secret Service: The Agency, which is tasked with defending the American President, first and foremost, is run by a guy who is definitely not American. Peter Stormare is most often associated with Russians in movies. His accent is a little less Ruskie in this but he’s still Peter Stormare and seems every bit the Cold War era villain as he has in every other movie.
- Quips on Quips: Snow (Guy Pearce) has more comebacks than Spider-Man, more one-liners than Arnie, and more teenage level responses to normal questions than those snarky teenagers that live next door to me. Sometimes they’re very funny but at some point I just got tired of hearing him joke around so much. John McClane can tell jokes but he can also get real serious and mess some shit up. If Snow is supposed to be Snake Plisken, he needs to cool it on the jokes just a little bit.
- Space Prison: Almost the entire movie, except for a few minutes at the beginning featuring a sub-plot that I never cared for, takes place on a penitentiary in space. Let that sink in for a minute. Other than sounding super metal, what could the benefits of having a prison in space actually be? Everything that happens up there would cost a fortune to maintain, a fortune to keep supplied, and an absolute fortune to transport new prisoners in. Logistically, I just don’t see it happening.
- What if we send in 1 guy?: The President’s daughter is on some sort of good will/information gathering trip to this prison and she’s interviewing a guy who has raped more women than Bill Cosby. Whoever made the decision for her to speak with that guy needs to be thrown out into space like Jazzy Jeff in The Fresh Prince. There is a great conversation that lasts all of 2 minutes where someone is really trying to push the idea of sending one man in for the rescue mission. It’s hilarious because we’ve seen it a bunch of times in these kinds of movies but I can’t remember one of them sneaking into a maximum security space prison.
- The Bad, the Worse, and the Ugly: Most of Lockout concentrates solely on Snow and Maggie Grace’s first daughter so we don’t get much information on the inmates other than a blurb or two about their pasts. The two main bads are Irish brothers played by Vincent Regan and Joseph Gilgun. Gilgun is very rapey and Regan does his best to reel in his little brother but they eventually end up screwing up the entire operation. I feel like if you’re going to introduce characters so quickly and have them be respected as bad guys they should have gotten some more recognizable dudes like Vinnie Jones or Ray Winstone. You don’t have to give me any backstory to believe that Vinnie Jones could kick somebody’s ass.
- An awful lot of shooting in space: At no point does anyone get worried about the amount of shooting or explosions that happen inside the prison. Maybe their engineers had planned for all of these contingencies but that seems highly unlikely. What is more likely is that the writers forgot it was happening in prison and had too much fun with the script. Who doesn’t like writing BOOM and BANG in big letters on a piece of paper?
Read these Bonus Bullet Points before I’m arrested for something I am 100% innocent for:
- What a gracious person Maggie Grace is. I guess you can’t see me roll my eyes as I type. Seriously, Maggie Grace’s character is the worst person to rescue in history. She constantly berates Snow as he attempts to get her off that floating tin can of rape with all her holes intact.
- Maggie is nice enough to ditch her inmate uniform and wear a more comfortable tank top as she runs around, though.
- Favorite line: “I’m getting beat up by a guy named Rupert?”
- Luc Besson and his production banner had to pay $95,000 to John Carpenter and others after a plagiarism lawsuit ruled in favor of Carpenter.