Pauls Valley, Oklahoma —
My kingdom, my Hollywood kingdom for an actor that can carry a terrible film. This must be the chant used in situations like my latest silver screen related ponderings, something that only a few can master and fewer with the skills to make it a blockbuster.
Since the latter did not quite result in the right combination of magic, what we’re with left here is an action film that sort of means well and not one I regret waiting for on DVD. Still, for the target testosterone crowd it does the trick with absurd one liners and snarky attitude wrapping up in more amusement than pain. I can understand why “Lockout” didn’t thrill most critics, but it fares no worse than some of the cheese delivered by action greats.
Set in the year 2079, the lead hero CIA Agent Snow (Guy Pearce), doesn’t exactly get to start things off on such a good foot by being arrested for the murder of a fellow agent. It seems it’s all connected to certain government secrets being stolen and unfortunately for our hero, Secret Service director Scott Langral (Peter Stormare) is more interested in beating him into false implication than hearing his side of the story.
Eventually this bruise fest is interrupted when Snow’s CIA friend Harry Shaw (Lennie James) offers him a chance to prove his innocence by finding a guy on this giant outerspace floating prison. Then there’s the bigger plot of having to also inconveniently rescue the US President’s daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) and dealing with a prison riot led by murderous psychopaths like Hydell (Joseph Gilgun). Despite this mish mash of story in a blender, it somehow manages to cram in a resolution in-between laughs brought on by the lead buttkicker.
It really is a good thing Pearce is in this film because it’s really the only thing separating it from something you might catch on Syfy (or whatever it’s called this week). Most of the supporting characters are actually not all that memorable or necessary, including the two lead bad guys who seem to have a problem getting much said other than mumbles in guttural Celtic accents.
Then again, at least the guy has a chance to get the babe in this flick, who isn’t the worst to take on this type of role, but doesn’t do much to escape the helpless until just the right moment stereotypes. I’m not really inspired to view it again, but if you need explosions and comedic killings for 95 minutes, it at least lives up to that much. For this average result I’d say “Lockout” deserves a final verdict of two out of five escapes.
DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.