I had a good time at Lockout even though I’ll be the first to admit it isn’t a very good movie. The special effects look like rejects from 1997, the tough-guy dialogue sounds like Bruce Willis castoffs and it’s not nearly as violent as I would have expected it to be, but I sat there with a grin on my face. How is this possible? Perhaps it reminded me of those cheese-ball direct-to-DVD Dolph Lundgren movies I used to watch when I had rented everything at the video store.
Guy Pearce is Snow, a highly skilled mercenary wrongly accused of espionage. To earn his freedom he agrees to rescue the president’s daughter, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), who is being held captive by rioting inmates at an outer space maximum-security prison. That’s right, the prison is in OUTER SPACE!
“Lockout” looks like it was done on the cheap, but that is part of its cheesy charm. Even the script seems cut rate. The movie is set in 2079, and yet John Wayne, Prince and global warming references abound, as if the script had been sitting on someone’s desk for a long time and they simply changed the setting and the date but not the content.
But somehow the old school-ness of it is appealing. It’s not a remake, or a reboot but it feels familiar nonetheless, like an assembly of elements from others movies tossed into the Script-O-Matic and squeezed out the other end to form something new-ish.
Guy Pearce impresses in an action role, however, and Joseph Gilgun is a suitably off-the-wall bad guy. Too bad I felt like I needed a translator to explain his HEAVY brogue to me. I certainly caught the gist of what he was saying but often the actual words were lost. Perhaps mumbled, accented dialogue is the new cool thing. Apparently Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” is impossible to understand as well, but I like a bit more clarity from my villains.
“Lockout” is a good Saturday matinee movie with some low-rent but fun action scenes (like parachuting from space! Perhaps that’s what passes for extreme sports in 2079) and will leave you feeling like you’ve just been Dolphed. Or Lungrened… or whatever the adjective is.