Lockout Review

Director: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger.
Writer: Luc Besson, James Mather, Stephen St. Leger. 
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare.
Running time: 95 minutes
Year: 2012

Lockout is a sci-fi actioner set in a future which permits convicts to be incarcerated in a giant prison floating above Earth. While it seems that cinema has fully cleared out sci-fi’s closet of interesting concepts by raiding every genre author’s back catalogue, Lockout proves there’s still room for emerging ideas. A nifty premise from the outset, the film benefits from an original story and a tight script by Luc Besson (Leon.)

Lockout breaks free from the shackles of its budget and delivers as an energetic, well-paced popcorn caper. Guy Pearce, in an inspired spot of casting, takes the lead as Snow. After being wrongly accused of killing an undercover agent, CIA agent Snow is threatened with a stay in maximum security prison MS One.  That is, until he’s offered a deal by the head of the Secret Service. Go to MS one and rescue the President’s daughter in exchange for freedom.

Whoever cast Pearce deserves a medal. The Aussie actor makes Han Solo seem like a quaint old Grandma. His Snow is gritty and quippy, never still long enough to reveal his hero heart beneath. It’s his presence which lifts the film out of sub-standard fare and into the ranks of the high calibre yet low key.

The claustrophobic prison environment, lined with stasis pods for its inmates, provides a ton of space for chaos to play out when the prisoners break free. As Pearce navigates his way through the hunk of metal in the sky, similarities to the Alien franchise rear up. He essentially Ripleys the President’s daughter, played by Maggie Grace; in order to make her blend in. The back and forth banter between the two plays out like The Odd Couple In A Space Prison. Their exchanges are snappy, funny and prove that while they might be an unusual pairing, they are what makes the flick so damn entertaining.

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Image courtesy of The Telegraph
gem seddon freelance blogger freelance film journalist freelance writer

About the author

Gem is a freelance writer with nine years' experience. She's written about alternative health and wellness since 2016, penning original blog posts, newsletters, recipes, and social media ads for local acupuncture clinics.