Director: James Mather and Stephen St. Leger
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan
Excellence: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
Summary in a Sentence: A generally ridiculous yet enjoyable, non-serious sci-fi/action film.
So here's the basic storyline, courtesy of IMDB:
Set in the near future, a falsely convicted ex-government agent (Guy Pearce) has one chance at obtaining freedom. He must undertake a dangerous mission to rescue the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum-security prison.
I've always liked Guy Pearce. I thought he was excellent in Memento and The Count of Monte Cristo, although his appearance in Prometheus will always be a blight on his record. So I was happy to see him get a leading role and I thought he pulled it off in fine fashion. To me, Lockout hearkened back to the 1980s/90s action films that were full of ridiculous action but also humour. Guy Pearce is a very good actor and here he portrayed a funny, likeable yet annoying at the same time rogue C.I.A. agent sent to rescue the president's daughter.
The plot was essentially the bare minimum to create an excuse for mayhem aboard a giant prison/space station. It could have easily taken place on earth, but being in space gave some opportunity for a few funky space walk scenes. Overall, it was pretty ridiculous -- I mean the prison MS1 was totally outrageous; gargantuan, with huge meaningless open spaces, plus the whole idea of cryo-prisons is fairly ludicrous to start with. The "Low Orbit Police Department" made little sense as well, and their attack on MS1 with what things that appeared like bulky fighter jets was a head-scratcher (surely a society that could build a monstrosity like MS1 could take it down with long-range missiles?).
But this is not a film you take seriously, and it didn't take itself seriously -- so this could all be overlooked thanks to the overall fun of the film and the good action sequences. None of the action was overdone, the way overused slo-mo shots were mercifully left-out, and Pearce took a lot of Bruce Willis-esque beatings. It's definitely a renter, not a film to buy, but it made for an enjoyable 1.5 hours. So I give it a solid 2.5 (keeping in mind that I'm pretty frugal with my stars so 2.5 is actually decent). A solid "guy film".