This review is for the science fiction action film Lockout from 2012. Regular readers will probably notice this is the newest film I’ve ever reviewed on here!
Tagline – “Take No Prisoners. Escape Before Time Runs Out!“
Who’s our hero today?
Yep that really is Mike from Neighbours all buffed up. Guy Pearce plays Marion Snow. “My old man was a John Wayne fan.”
Had I seen this one on VHS/DVD back in the day?
This was the very last DVD I ever rented from my local Blockbuster’s before it’s sad fate shut it down in 2013. To be honest I’d rarely used it anymore, the rental prices were going through the roof. What with the ever changing way we would start to watch content and it’s unwillingness to move with the times unfortunately Blockbusters sealed it’s own demise. Anyhow, I’d had either missed Lockout at the cinema or it was never shown? The trailer looked like good cheesy sci-fi action fun. Like a throw back to the 80s with flashier effects. It had an almost Escape From New York (1981) vibe to it. Later I’d find out I was right and it had more than a vibe! So my very last rental memory would become Lockout! Rest in peace Blockbusters……….
Quick plot run down.
Now does any of this sound familiar? The year is 2079 rather than 1997. The world is over-run with dangerous criminals. To keep them out the way of the human population, MS One, a maximum security prison is built orbiting around Earth. Prisoners are kept in stasis pods for lengths at a time between their sentence. A procedure that is believed to develop a mental instability, like dementia, turning the convicts even more insane. The President’s daughter is on-board MS ONE to investigate the claims. Yeah you guessed it. She’s gets taken hostage and now the Secret Service need a cigarette smoking, wisecracking, total bad ass to go in and save her. One that has just been convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S! There’s even a briefcase containing secrets! Our reluctant hero has the opportunity to save the Presidents daughter and retrieve the briefcase to prove his innocence. Luckily, unlike his brother from another mother, he’s not injected with micro-explosives!
Does the hero have a day job?
Snow was a maverick CIA agent who’d been investigating another agent selling secrets. When evidence shows an undercover agent being coldly murdered by Snow he soon finds himself with a one way ticket to the floating maximum security penitentiary in space.
What’s our heroes special skills?
Knowledge in all types of military strategies, weapons expert and completely fearless. But his main special skill is his nonstop banter. Luckily he does warn us with his “Warning Offensive” t-shirt.
Emilie – “Are you always this obnoxious?” Snow – “Shh…” Emile – “Did you hear something?” Snow – “No, I’m just enjoying the silence.”
Heroes weapon of choice?
A futuristic retrofit Heckler and Koch sub-machine gun with laser sighter. But the best bit of kit he has is noise activated mini mines. Used twice with similar effect. As a baddie quietly lifts their head through into ceiling space and witnesses the mini bomb go live, both proceed to curse “Shit” or “Fuck” and then BOOM!
Heroes drink of choice?
He goes off on a right bender! Whisky, beer, a few lines of nose candy! Really hits rock bottom! (Check it on this music video called “His Body” I never knew he sang?)
Does hero have a sidekick?
He has his contact, inside man, Mace (Tim Plester) but his real side kick is the President’s daughter. See below.
Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
President Warnock’s (Peter Hudson) daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) is on board MS One to investigate evidence that the slowly turning deranged prisoners locked up in stasis are in fact also being used as test subjects. Soon she and the staff population of the prison ship are either killed or taken hostage. Snow might be there to save her but she isn’t a fan of the arrogant and cocky hero. With the banter and abuse she reluctantly, with no other choice, gets pushed through one dangerous situation to the next.
Who’s the main baddie?
Tough criminal mastermind Alex (Vincent Regan) thinks he is in charge of the prison revolt.
Baddies special skills?
Depends how you look at who’s in charge but Alex’s brother Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) could be classed as his special skill! He initiated the prison break and hostage situation releasing his older brother to run things. But unfortunately for Alex his brotherly love alliance for Hydell will bring complete carnage as the guy is a complete psychopath.
Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 9/10
Alex scores a strong 8 but Hydell irrational psychotic behavior ramps up all the way to 10. Leveling them out for 9 on the Richter scale of badness.
Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 9/10
Snow is hardcore enough to lose his balls! “I’d rather castrate myself with blunt rocks.” His brother Snake scored a perfect 10 so Snow will have to come in at a 9 to not cause any sibling rivalry.
Surely it features a training montage scene?
Not sure if the training montage scene made it out of the 80s and 90s? I’m sure a few slipped on by but not here I’m afraid.
Does it feature an impossible mission?
For sure it does! A prison in space filled with psychotic, riotous, killer lunatics and the chance that the prison could very well be exploded to smithereens if all else fails!
Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
It is quoted that Guy undertook a high-protein diet and weightlifting regimen to increase his muscle mass. He certainly looked the most beefed up I’d seen him. He fitted in well with the action role IMHO.
Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Nothing to report I’m afraid.
A few innuendos but nothing else. Emilie’s face lands on Snow’s waist. “Oh, you don’t have to do that. A simple thank you is enough!”
Any good totally random surprise scenes?
Neurotransmitter stimulation needle through eye into the brain resulting in the Lambada!
Films body count? Low/Medium/High?
Uncountable amount. Tons!
Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
I’m sure everyone was completely fine. Not like the old days of stuntmen getting blown up with no health and safety guidelines. Now it’s all CGI and fancy trickery.
Any cool car chases?
Actually quite a cool future motorcycle chase down the highway through the futuristic city pursued by a flying police car as explosions and cars flip and crash all over the place. Bit OTT on the CGI but it’s a fun scene nonetheless.
Langral – “Again, what happened in that hotel room?”
Snow – “Oh, it was coupon night and I was trampolining your wife.” POW punched in the face.
Langral – “You’re a real comedian aren’t you, Snow?”
Snow – “Well I guess that’s why they call it the punch line.” POW punched in the face.
Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
Peter Stormare plays his usual self as the Chief of the Secret Service Scott Langral who could be good or could be bad!
Lenny James plays a CIA agent called Harry Shaw. He’s probably best known at the moment as Morgan in The Walking Dead. He’s also a very well known face on British television.
Lockout is directed by James Mather and Steve Saint Leger which they both co-wrote the screenplay based on an “original” idea by French filmmaker Luc Besson know for Leon: The Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997) to name a few.
From what I’ve read it looks like John Carpenter had noticed big similarities between Lockout and his own Kurt Russell film Escape From New York (1981). Alleging in court that they had indeed plagiarized their film resulting in the court awarding damages. Then a year later Luc Besson tried to appeal the ruling only for it to be rejected and the damages to be largely increased.
It’s pretty cheesy tbh. The biggest offender in the Philly cheese steak championship is Hydell (Joseph Gilgun). He’s just so annoyingly over the top crazy.
IMDB score rating – 6.1/10
Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 9/10
Wolfman over all film rating – 7/10
Regardless of the controversy of the plagiarizing claims, Lockout feels and plays out just like a bejazzled 80s throw back. If you treat it as such I believe you would enjoy it more. Guy Pearce, I felt, surprisingly pulled off the big action role. He looked like he was having fun in the part. I’d of probably even jumped on board for a sequel had there been one. Found myself enjoying it more than I did the first time I saw it. Probably down to the fact that I’d just come off the back of doing 30 action films reviews in a month and that i’m partial to a bit of sci-fi. Not sure I will be reviewing many more new films but thought it fitted in well with the video rental action reviews being that it was the last DVD to be rented by myself!
PS Lockout (2012) is on Netflix at time of writing.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want but please don’t feel you need to as I know it’s pretty relentless this month. However, most important, have fun with the movies.
Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.