Lockout (2012)

Lockout (2012)I’m catching quite a few Guy Pearce films at the minute, bit of a coincidence that his new film The Rover (2014) has just been released too. I never really paid much attention to him until I saw Memento (2000) which really broke all the rule of story telling in film, as we follow a guy with no short term memory find redemption for his wife. Lockout (2012) is a very different film, set in the not too future of 2027 with a set-up similar to a video game, with a goal that is revealed after a ten minute prologue as Marion Snow (Guy Pearce) is being interrogated for a crime he didn’t commit, the gaps are filled in great detail so we are not left out by what has happened. A colleague has been shot, we know he’s been set-up.

We are then introduced to a new form of prison, that lies in orbit above Earth, holding the worlds most dangerous in cryogenic suspension, hmm what could possibly go wrong there. Especially when the Presidents daughter Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) is visiting this prison facility, coming with her own doubts about the place, hearing rumours of physical damage, even experiments being carried out. It just gets worse for her when she interviews one of the prisoners Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) who is not in the best shape himself and not the first person you’d want to meet on the streets. 

There’s a lot of begging, borrowing and stealing going on here, smelling first of Escape From New York (1981) to begin with, having a Han Solo type being thrown into the mix, the humour is off the cuff and sly, all in the same vein of the Millennium Falcon captain, just more in our world this time. Whilst the tone of the film is quite dark, not a moment goes by without someone dying, it still has light moments, a cast of unknowns really in an American film, which is something today, showing how varied the prisoners are, coming from all parts of the globe. I think the energy of the rebooted Star Trek (2009) has been brought over to this apocalyptic sic-fi thriller with a heavy message of prison over-crowding which is a real issue in America and the U.K. a solution needs to be found, just maybe not this one.

Overall it’s a great piece of fun with a message at the bad of it, what can go wrong when the perfect prison goes wrong, it could still go wrong now, riots breaking out. Having the Presidents daughter in the up there is a fresh take on the rogue saving the day, personified by Kurt Russell‘s Snake Plissken who has to redeem himself. There’s a lot of recycling going on, which works really well together, to give us something to both laugh at and enjoy. Although not my first choice, Guy Pearce fits into this dark world.

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