If it weren't for John Carter, Lockout would be the best science fiction flick of 2012. Lockout is one of those action-adventure films that really delivers the escapist goods. Best of all, it stars the remarkable Guy Pearce.
Pearce is what makes this movie work. Although usually associated with more artistic films such as The King's Speech and Prometheus, Pearce has also been in action flicks such as Animal Kingdom. Pearce plays hero Snow, who is well-armed with a full arsenal of weapons and wisecracks. Pearce is both exciting and funny. Only Guy Pearce could have pulled it off with such aplomb.
Lockout begins with Snow claiming he is being railroaded for the murder of one of his best friends. The case involves national security and alleged espionage on behalf of a foreign power. The top advisers to the U.S. president are involved in questioning Snow.
Meanwhile, the president's worthless, stuck-up soft-on-crime daughter, Emilie Warnock (played by Maggie Grace), is making a visit to Maximum Security #1 (MS #1), an orbiting space prison for the most violent criminals, who are all frozen alive for the duration of their sentences. Warnock cries and whines about how cruel and inhumane it is, but while visiting MS #1, she's taken hostage by one of the most violent prisoners around. He proceeds to free the rest of the prisoners, who then take over MS #1 while the president's daughter cries and whines about her poor little self while showing no feelings or concern about the other innocent people aboard MS #1.
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As if often the case with this sort of movie, the president's advisers make Snow an offer he cannot refuse. Go to MS #1 and free the president's daughter, and all will be forgiven. And so Snow winds up on a desperate, do-or-die mission, which is how Lockout really begins. The remainder of the movie is all sorts of thrills, spills, and chills.
Perhaps the best, not to mention the most unpredictable, aspect of this movie is Snow's unrelenting mockery of Emilie Warnock, though she admittedly deserves it. Snow especially rubs in the fact that her father is a worthless scumbag.
Lockout is a futuristic, action-packed, fast-paced thrill ride. Pearce's wisecracking character adds to the fun, and the rest of the acting is of an unusually high caliber for a science fiction movie. The directing and special effects are also high quality. It is a well conceived and expertly executed flick, and as such, Lockout comes highly recommended.