Set in the near future, Lockout follows a falsely convicted ex-government agent , whose one chance at obtaining freedom lies in the dangerous mission of rescuing the President's daughter from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.
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In 2079, in Washington, the ex-CIA Operative Snow is brutally interrogated, accused of treason against the United States. The chief of the secret service Scott Langral believes that he shot the agent Frank in a hotel room. Meanwhile, the idealistic daughter of the president of the USA, Emilie Warnock, is visiting MS One, a maximum security prison in outer space expecting to find evidence that the prisoners are actually guinea pigs of a huge corporation. When one of her bodyguards loses a hidden pistol to the dangerous prisoner Hydell, he subdues the staff in the central control room and releases the prisoners, including his brother Alex who becomes the leader of the riot. Now the veteran agent Harry Shaw offers freedom to Snow if he succeeds in rescuing the president's daughter. But the idealistic Emilie does not want to leave MS-One without the hostages.
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Lockout (2012) nn* 1/2 (out of 4) nnA former CIA agent named Snow (Guy Pearce) is framed for a murder he didn't commit and is about to be sent to a prison in outer space when something bad happens. It turns out that the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) was on the prison for a humanitarian effort when the convicts broke free and have taken her hostage. Now Snow is offered his freedom in exchange for getting on the prison ship and saving her. Yes, this is certainly a major rip-off of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK but without the charm, excitement and great characters. It's really a shame LOCKOUT turned out so bad because it could have worked on many levels. Back in the early 80s there were a whole slew of rip-offs coming out from Italy, Germany and various other countries and these would play in drive-ins or low-rent theaters. LOCKOUT could have worked like those films but the direction here is just so poor that it's really hard to be caught up in anything going on. It also doesn't help that the film is burdened with a PG-13 rating, which takes away any possible sleaze aspect and you can tell that certain scenes appeared to be cut down to avoid anything too graphic. This is really silly because there are points in the film where people are decapitated and there are jokes built around such events and yet it's all editing down. Another problem is that the direction just never packs any punch in regards to drama, action and even the fight scenes are boring. The characters are all standard stereotypes and none of them are interesting. This is especially true of the Grace character who is just downright annoying, stupid and you can't help but hope something bad happens to her. Pearce at least turns in a good performance even if it is rather sad seeing someone so talented appear in stuff like this. The one thing the film does have going for it are some pretty funny one-liners and they're perfectly delivered by Pearce. LOCKOUT could have been something but what it turns out to be is a silly, low-rent action movie trapped in a PG-13 universe with direction that just keeps bringing it down.
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