Tag Archives: “Luc Besson”


In the year 2079, apparently man is still alive and building REALLY stupid prisons.

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 ManFifth 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.


From Paris with Love

From Paris with Love poster

From Paris with Love poster

John Travolta is back, (Did he REALLY ever go anywhere?), apparently with a vengeance against anyone and everyone…

At it’s core, “From Paris” (a Luc Besson film) is a pure action flick, with a little bit of cop buddy movie thrown in. The film starts out deceptively low key, with a bit of whimsy, that sets the mood for not taking itself too seriously, while almost slapping other spy moveis in the face with a lead lined glove. James Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), the probie, is assigned to place a bug in the office of a high ranking official, and he attempts to stick it under the desk with a piece of gum. After a few amusing attempts, he uses a stapler to unglamourously secure it.

Charlie Wax (John Travolta) is the probie’s next assignment. He is tasked with escorting Wax around Paris. Upon meeting Wax for the first time, he is being held in customs, assaulting the security officials with f-bombs aplenty. We soon find out that this “persona” was used as a diversion to buy him time to be able to smuggle in his favorite gun…

Within the series of events that ultimately end up making a bit of sense, there are glimpses of deepness that I would have liked to have seen examined more. But if that were to happen, “Paris” would not be a typical action flick. It takes us down into a world of drugs, violence, more violence, assassination, conspiracy and terrorism. And it all takes place in a about 36 hours.

Mr Travolta is pretty convincing as a bad ass “covert” operative. There is not a whole lot of hand to hand combat, but the amount of bullets more than makes up for it. Even if that amount of bullets leaves us calling “BS!” that he receives nary a scratch from all the flying lead…  Unless he gets a little more pep in his step, they may want to consider not using him for the running chase scenes… (Not nearly as bas as Steven Segal, but he’s no Will Smith)

To sum up, “From Paris with Love” is a pretty capable, and not completely dumbed down action movie. Will I own it? Doubtful. Does it do as advertised and take you on a whirlwind ride? Yes.