Five Reasons To See ‘Lockout’

A prison break. In space. How bad can that be? Your mileage may vary, but it’s hard not to at least appreciate the premise of “Lockout,” the EuropaCorp action flick entering theaters this weekend.

Guy Pearce stars in the film as Snow, a former special forces operative now working on his own. When he’s set up for a crime he didn’t commit and subsequently left facing a drastically long prison sentence as a result, Snow’s presented with a mission as his one last chance to free his future: go into outer space, infiltrate the sacked maximum security prison MS One, and save the president’s daughter from the inmates now running the asylum. Needless to say, that order is easier said than done, but it’s enough to fill out a 95-minute movie.

“Lockout,” directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, has an amazing cast and an amazing premise. Even if it never fully lives up to its potential, there are certainly still reasons to see it. We’ve got five of them after the break.

Let It Snow
The salty ex-operative is the star of the show, and with good reason. Snow is a smart-mouthed, highly capable agent that doesn’t give a you-know-what. He wields guns with amazing expertise, gets himself inside and outside of sticky situations like no one’s business, and cracks wise like the best of them. Snow is a fun character well worth spending an hour and a half getting to know — just don’t even think about asking him his first name.

The Good Guy
Snow isn’t written to his fullest potential, but Pearce elevates the character to great heights. The “Memento” and “LA Confidential” star is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living actors working today. Pearce transcends occasionally clunky material to deliver a hardcore badass that you truly believe in. It doesn’t hurt that he whipped himself into bodybuilding shape in order to become Snow. The character is great, but that’s not the reason to see “Lockout” — it’s Pearce’s dedication to the role that’s truly the highlight.

The Bad Guys
There are actually some pretty memorable baddies in “Lockout,” most especially the heavily tattooed wild man Hydell, played by Joseph Gilgun. He has a horrible infatuation with Maggie Grace’s Emilie Warnock, and you’re constantly afraid of what Hydell is going to do next. His brother, Alex, is the leader of the prison revolt, and has his fair share of moments as well. There’s another villain in the mix as well, though we won’t spoil his/her identity here. Suffice it to say, I’m a big fan of this actor, so seeing him/her in any role is always something I’m down for.

Prison. In Space.
You just have to applaud the premise. A prison breakout in space? That notion alone is enough to get my ass into the theater nine times out of ten. It’s worth taking a look at, if only to see how that premise actually holds up during a 95 minute movie.

Another Chance
Repeating what I mentioned earlier, I don’t think “Lockout” fully lives up to its potential. It pulls its punches in certain places and tips its hand prematurely in others. But it has a great central character in Snow, an even better performer in Guy, and an imaginative world to play around in. Pearce’s Snow is a character I would gladly, gladly see more of. If “Lockout” serves any purpose, it’s to show the moviegoing masses that Pearce as a space bound badass is something we need to see again, and soon.

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