If it's crap ... We'll tell you
I miss the old action films. The two-hour epics that suck you in and makes you believe in the hero. John McClane was a New York cop on the verge of divorce, but has to save his wife along with other hostages in Nakatomi Tower, in Die Hard (1988). Snake Plissken had to save the president from a terrorist attack in Escape from New York (1981). Even Blade Runner (1982) had Rick Deckard running around L.A. trying to stop the replicants. Today, we have movies like Lockout. Which doesn't even scrape the bottom of Hollywood's boot. Not only is it a disappointment to the action genre, but it also gives us a story that has been over-done to the end of time as well as terrible dialogue and really bad sound editing. This character, Snow (Guy Pearce), attempts to be along side iconic characters in the genre but never achieves it. Which, is hard to understand if it's a good thing or a bad thing.
The plot is so easy to know that if you don't see points coming from a mile away, then either you haven't seen enough movies or haven't been to the doctor in quite some time. The year is 2079. An ex-CIA agent, Snow, is wrongly accused of conspiracy against the U.S. government and his only way to go free is if he saves the President's (Peter Hudson) daughter (Maggie Grace) from a maximum security space prison called, MS: One. It is a mix of a bunch of different movies like: Die Hard, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Ghosts of Mars, and mostly Escape from New York. This film wears these influences on it's sleeve and in some senses it's a good thing but at the same time it isn't. When certain plots are so over-used that it's noticeable it takes the suspense and care away from the film. But at the same time the influences can be used to familiarize the viewer but do something new with it as well.
Now while I believe Guy Pearce is a good actor; I don't think he picks films that will shoot him into the A-list. Memento (2000) is the only film that comes to mind where he is the star. Lockout makes him the lead but it doesn't work. Pearce wants his character to be iconic ad on the shelf along with McClane, Plissken, and Deckard, but he can't achieve it because of the writing. Four different people worked on this script and every sarcastic, smart alec, line that Pearce gives isn't funny and cuts the film down. Die Hard was perfect because it took a normal guy and put him in a situation where he actually gets hurt and faces death. But Bruce Willis gives one-liners that are both smart and funny. Here, there is a line where a walkie-talkie cuts off and Pearce tells Maggie Grace; "The transmission was cut," Grace replies with "Who cut it?" Then the conversation ends with Pearce saying, "The transmission fairies." Almost ever line goes this way and you can't help but wince.
Even the special effects and the sound editing couldn't be the highlight of the film. All the action is either blurry and moves like the movie is on fast-forward (I'm not kidding) or it cuts away for a PG-13 rating. None of the action is exciting and when you think it's going to pick up, it just goes the way you wish it wouldn't. I'm not a fan of loud films. In fact, they annoy me if they are too loud and nothing interesting is going on. This film needed both of those. The action wasn't good but the sound made it worse. It was too quiet and it was as if a stereo blew out. Something didn't seem even with and when limited scare scenes don't make you jump at the least or action makes you bored, you know it's time to throw in the towel.
I went into this cold. No trailer, one simple synopsis, and a poster. That is all I had for knowledge of this film. Had I known or seen more then I might have been more aware and more disappointed. I'm glad I wasn't. This should be approached more as a straight to DVD film. Not a blockbuster or classic that it wants to be. It's a Some Ole Bullshit! If you want to get some good laughs out of how bad the dialogue is then this is that kind of movie, otherwise skip it with all intentions.
See ya all on the other side,
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