Friday, 29 March 2013

Lockout (2012)

Lockout is a ludicrously silly no budget space runaround that riffs on Escape From New York, Die Hard (in space...Oh God don't tell Bruce, he'll make that entry 7 in the series!) and even a touch of Mission Impossible and Star Wars (the dog fighting spaceships) but essentially it boils down to resembling numerous straight to video sci fi exploitation flicks of the 80s and 90s. We've all seen 'em right? Ray Liotta vehicle No Escape anyone?

And when I say no budget I mean no budget; with one appallingly bad CGI chase scene near the start that is like watching something through muddy glass and a hangover, and space docking shots that reminded me of Gerry Anderson. Meanwhile stunts that would be big moments in any other film - such as the exploding head of one bad guy - are played off screen leaving it up to sound effects and after effects respectively. But these somewhat perversely add to the charm, reminding the viewer of those old rental movies and shows that the megabucks don't always have to be around for movies with imagination.

Guy Pearce is the token biggish name amidst a sea of British character actors (just as Liotta was in the aforementioned No Escape) He's the archetypal cocksure pec pulsating wisecracking mean machine action hero but for me, the endless snapping of one liners was very wearing. And as the film is based on an idea by Luc Besson (seriously of Luc said 'a man walks down the street' I'm sure they'd farm that out to one of his production arms to get made) the pretty but poor actress playing the kidnapped daughter in the two Taken films, Maggie Grace , plays - guess what? - the kidnapped President's daughter. Typecasting much?

A bloated and bored looking Peter Stormare sleepwalks through the film as a sneering black coated Secret Service boss, whilst the aforementioned British contingent includes Tim Plester and Lennie James (neither mastering the US accent) whilst Vincent Regan and Joseph Gilgun play the psychotic Glaswegian prisoners who lead the revolt and hold Grace to ransom. It's Gilgun who makes the movie. I've always liked him ever since This Is England and his role in TV's Emmerdale. He's twitchy, violent, menacing and hilarious here, often all at the same time.

Far more enjoyable than it ought to be. Lockout is a fairly decent if forgettable beer and pizza movie.

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