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August 21, 2012

Lockout

by Franz Patrick


Lockout (2012)
★ / ★★★★

When Snow (Guy Pearce) was charged with first degree murder, he was sentenced to serve time in M.S. One, a maximum security prison in space where the inmates were cryogenically frozen in order to minimize incidents. Meanwhile, the president’s daughter, Emilie (Maggie Grace), currently on a mission to make sure that the prisoners were being treated fairly, became trapped inside the space station when all the captives were woken from their slumber, caused a riot, and demanded to be set free. In turn, authorities informed Snow that if he alone could rescue Emilie, he would be pardoned of the crime he didn’t commit. Directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, although “Lockout” showed promise with its template involving a clear-cut rescue mission, it quickly turned into an action film devoid of fun and thrill. It seemed like the only thing it had going for it was Snow’s sarcastic remarks. Each jab was like an open sore ripe for the picking; a possibility that perhaps Snow didn’t have the easiest of childhoods. Everything and everyone was suffocatingly serious, almost robotic, that a glimmer of a genuine human personality was not only welcome, it felt critical to the survival of our interest in the film. Still, aside from Snow’s wit and endurance to take punches, we knew nothing about him. He was fun only on the outside which made the eventual romantic connection between Snow and Emilie very unconvincing and desperate. For someone who was supposed to be worldly, Emilie was incredibly annoying. Her self-righteousness made me question if she really was worth saving. I disliked her so much, I wished halfway through that Snow would realize what a pain she was and force her to drag her own weight. It seemed like every time they had an option to get out, she found a way to sabotage his hard work. I found no reason for him to be attracted to her aside from her looks. Furthermore, the action sequences were limp. The motorcycle chase scene on land looked very much like video game released ten years ago, its blurriness and lack of lighting were utilized as so-called techniques to hide its lack of pixelation. I actually snickered to myself because it was all supposed to be moody and futuristic. I didn’t buy it one bit. The battles that took place in space also lacked a proper level of believability. When crafts exploded and missiles sped through one another, loud booms and swishing noises could be heard. I could have ignored that space was a vacuum if it had had several interesting things to offer. But since I was so fatigued from the passive script and lack of originality, I was more sensitive of its shortcomings. Based on the screenplay by Stephen St. Leger, James Mather, and Luc Besson, “Lockout” presented very little substance and even less energy. The tattooed prisoners, obviously the villains, might as well have been target practice in a shooting range. Most of them did nothing, said nothing, thereby amounted to nothing. There were supposed to be almost five hundred prisoners in the facility. I think I only saw about fifty walking about. The rest of them probably remained asleep in the realization that the movie was not worth their attentions.

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