Made in: France
Language: English
Directors: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Peter Stormare, Lennie James, Joseph Gilgun, Peter Hudson, Tim Plester
Year: 2012

Synopsis: It's the year 2079. CIA agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is wrongly convicted of murdering fellow undercover agent Frank Armstrong (Miodrag Stevanovic). Armstrong was tracking down a government operative suspected of selling top secret information about the country's space program.

Taken into custody and without a fair trial, Snow is sentenced to thirty years in MS-1, a high tech prison facility...in space! The prisoners there are cryogenically frozen for the duration of their sentences, and have no hope of escape.

Snow's only friend in the agency is Harry Shaw (Lennie James). Harry secretly informs Snow that Snow's secret contact, a man named Mace (Tim Plester) is actually one of the prisoners aboard MS-1. Furthermore, Mace has access to evidence that will exonerate Snow.

At the same time, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), the president's daughter, is on a humanitarian mission to MS-1 to investigate allegations of safety and health violations at the prison.

While Emilie is questioning a temporarily awakened psychopath named Hydall (Joseph Gilgun), something goes horribly wrong allowing Hydall to break free of custody.

He releases the other prisoners, including a man named Alex (Vincent Regan). Possessing more brains than the other maniacs, Alex takes leadership of the inmates, and holds Emilie and the prison staff hostage.

When news of the crisis reaches Earth, Snow is dispatched by the icy Secret Service Director, Scott Langral (Peter Stormare), to sneak aboard MS-1 to rescue the president's daughter. As you would expect from a movie like this, a whole load of mayhem ensues!

The Good: Lockout is an entertaining action/sci-fi adventure that's very well-acted and structured. It seems as though all involved were having fun and putting forth a sincere effort to make the movie work.

Guy Pearce is excellent as Snow, and his sharp sarcasm and witty one-liners are clearly the best part of the story. The action sequences, although not mind-blowingly creative, are good enough to keep your interest.

And for a relatively low budget (approximately $20,000,000), the production design and special effects are pretty impressive. The villains are perfectly despicable, but Vincent Regan plays the nemesis with enough humanity to make him more 3-dimensional than the usual action-movie baddie.

The Bad: The espionage aspect of Lockout, although relegated to a subplot, was almost as compelling as the main story. It's too bad they didn't develop it more.

Who would like this movie: Lockout is for you if you're looking for a fun action movie that won't make you think too hard. Grab a few drinks and watch it with your friends. Guy Pearce alone is reason enough to watch this, as his line delivery is perfect in every major scene.

This may not be the greatest or most creative action flick you ever saw, but it's very well executed and surpasses plenty of other action movies with bigger budgets.

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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