Lockout has a few issues in addition to the opening line… Virtually every scene or character reminds me of someone from another movie. The films that immediately come to mind that served as direct source material are Escape from New York, Demolition Man, Fifth Element, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Blade Runner and probably Batman Begins as well.
You can read the one sentence, 47 word synopsis on the Lockout official website. I’m going to jump straight to the plot chasms. (AKA spoiler alerts.) A maximum security prison, in space, for prisoners in suspended animation. They escape and shoot one of the techs, it is revealed the orbit has started to decay because it is a fly by wire system, which is constantly on the verge of falling out of the sky, kept aloft by said dead tech. Really? Wouldn’t all the gunfire destroying important systems been more plausible? Who is going to have a multi billion dollar installation kept in orbit by “red shirt” tech Smith? As it turns out, the decaying orbit was a plot point to force them off the prison, or else it would have dragged on forever. Did I mention the prison has an incredibly effective Battlstar Galactica level defense system, activated by one button. But the Low Orbit Police have no way of over riding it?
The breakout begins when Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), the President’s daughter, flies up to the prison on a humanitarian mission. One of her secret service men takes a weapon into the interrogation room. I thought he was supposed to be a professional… The interrogation room is divided by a wall with bullet proof glass, but the Emilie’s secret service men are on the side of the prisoner?!?! Hydell gets mouthy > SS man slams his head into table > Hydell takes his gun > SS men on Emilie’s side fire > gun fire from Hydell’s side > explosion from Emilie’s side of the protective glass. WTF? It all happened so quick and close up, it’s hard to follow the action.
Hydell (Joseph Gilgun, known as Rudy Wade from Misfits) is the inmate being interviewed by Emilie. He’s quite deranged and the little brother of the man who assumes control of the prisioners, Alex (Vincent Regan). If you are trying to be a criminal mastermind, and your brother is a lunatic who is probably responsible for landing you in suspended animation prison, would it not be better to put him down? Family ties can only go so far until they choke you.
This film was a jumbled mess. Which is odd, because the poster says, “From the producers of Taken“, which I really enjoyed, and the original idea/partial screenplay credit goes to Luc Besson, who has turned out some awesome stuff. I generally like Guy Pearce (who plays lead character Snow), but he does not quite pull off the bad ass, wise cracking pseudo hero.
On a (partially) positive note, most of the special effects in space were somewhat decent, but an unnecessary motorcycle chase scene was absolutely laughable.