Luc Besson (Director of The Fifth Element) presents this futuristic thriller about a renegade CIA agent (Guy Pearce, PROMETHEUS) who is betrayed by his government and sentenced to 30 years frozen in a cryonic chamber 50 miles above Earth. The only way to avoid serving time is a suicide mission – overcome a gang of ruthless prisoners and rescue the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace, Taken).
A hostage crisis--in orbit!--allows writer-producer Luc Besson (The Transporter
) to spin yet another of his irresistibly pulpy action flicks: Lockout
tosses a disgraced secret agent (Guy Pearce) into the middle of a space station/prison that houses the planet's worst criminals. Oh, and by the way, the key hostage in the inmate rampage just happens to be the daughter (Maggie Grace) of the US president, visiting the facility for an official visit that spirals into a major malfunction. It goes without saying that Pearce's badass is a cynical, wisecracking jerk, with an intro scene that sets up his character in a hilariously visceral way. And sure, you can say this movie borrows liberally from the likes of Escape from New York
and Die Hard
and countless others, and that the characters are stock figures, and you'd be right. But the plot is tight and simple, the setting adds a nice wrinkle, and the muscled-up Pearce is just offbeat enough to lay gleeful claim to the overly familiar role. The bad guys, too, are truly loathsome (most of them have British accents, which makes them seem like refugees from a Guy Ritchie picture). Lockout
isn't rocket science, but its spritzy B-movie energy is undeniable, and on those terms it operates more than adequately. --Robert Horton