Directed by James Mather and Stephen St.Leger. Starring Guy Pearce, Maggice Grace, Joe Gilgun, Peter Stormare. 95 mins.
Rating: One and a half/Five
In cinemas April 20
ABSURDLY STUPID AND DERIVATIVE SCI-FI ACTION FLICK IS A CINEMATIC BLACK HOLE
Silly season seems to inspire a cinematic Stockholm Syndrome in critics. The deluge of films apparently released purely to assault our senses, insult our intelligence and push our patience to the limit can eventually induce a deluded, desperate desire to find anything positive to cling onto, in order to retain some sense of sanity and faith in the world. And so awful films are declared adequate, and stupid movies defended unpretentious good fun.
Not even that leniency can save Lockout.
The McNugget of films, Lockout’s marketing professes that this futuristic prison break flick is pure action entertainment, when really it’s nothing like the real thing. Instead it’s an unrecognizable mulch of the gristle and fat of every sci-fi of the last two decades, injected with testosterone, watered down with a horribly over-written script, and covered in a soggy batter of dodgy CGI. Disappointingly, given that Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) produces, there are no additional flavours to be found.
Set in 2076, Guy Pearce plays a wise-cracking tough guy shot into space to save the President’s daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) from the rioting inmates of an orbiting maximum security prison. (As you do.) And he has his own mission –unearthing the location of a briefcase with unknown things inside. (But of course.) And while he’s alternating between insulting, punching and buzz-cutting Emilie, she falls for his acerbic charm. (There are no words.)
Chunks of plot are missing, the visuals are like a dizzying and dated video game, the zany one-liners include pitiful offerings like “Thought I could smell you coming”, and its scientific liberties extend to people plummeting through space and landing unharmed on a New York sidewalk. Though Pearce’s injects what charms he can to the film and Joe Gilgun (This Is England, Misfits) is genuinely disconcerting as a sociopathic inmate, this film is otherwise a dark vacuum of merit.