Featuring an impossible rescue from an outer-space prison and lead characters who seem like blatant Han Solo and Princes Leia knockoffs, Lockout seems like a movie dreamed up at 4am by a bunch of sleep-deprived, Star Wars–obsessed 11-year-boys jacked up on pizza and Twinkies. That’s a compliment.
Starring Guy Pearce (The Hurt Locker, LA Confidential) and Maggie Grace (Lost), the movie portrays Pearce’s hard-bitten Snow as the only man in the world who can rescue the President’s daughter after a riot leaves her trapped in the world’s first orbiting prison.
Lockout is a product of French producer/director Luc Besson’s Europa Films, the European company that’s made some of best action pictures of the last decade: the Transporter movies with Jason Statham, District B13, Revolver, From Paris With Love and Columbiana. Europa films never try to reinvent the genre and their devotion to the conventions of 60s and 70s movies comes off as tribute instead of laziness or unoriginality.
Since they’re not working with gigantic Hollywood budgets, the special effects here are just this side of just good enough but things move so quickly that you don’t have much time or inclination to dwell on their shortcomings. Lockout also features a performance by Vincent Regan (300, Clash of the Titans) as the leader of the prison rebellion.
Does Lockout do anything you haven’t seen before? Probably not. Can you sell it as a date movie? Good luck with that. If you watch the clip of Lockout’s first five minutes embedded below and it’s working for you, then you’re safe and won’t blow the $12 you spend on this one.