Lockout revolves around Snow (Guy Pearce), a man falsely accused of stealing government secrets and killing a CIA operative. While being interrogated and ultimately sentenced of this crime the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) is taken hostage and Snow is given one chance to escape from a lifetime sentence and clear his name. To do so he just has to sneak into a new technologically advanced prison floating in outer space and send the President’s daughter to freedom. This prison, Maximum Security One, is built around the idea that all inmates will remain in a chemically induced sleep called status. When they awoken one for a meeting with Emilie Warnock, the President’s daughter, he found a way to break out, free the inmates, and create the disaster that fuels the film.
With such a predictable story ark it is hard to get excited or even emotionally invested with any of the sci-fi and action setups the film throws out. The movie is clichéd, stereotypical and utterly bizarre. It feels very disjointed and not well thought out, as if each person involved decided to focus on scenes they enjoyed rather than scenes that would move the film ahead. Scenes happen that are so ridiculous that you are pulled out of the movie-watching experience in attempt to logically work through what is happening before your eyes. The sets look like they were modeled off of low-budget sci-fi films from the nineties. The differences in lighting go from gritty and dark to ominous and dark making the outdated text that appears on screen sometimes difficult to read.
The acting in Lockout is either too good for the character that is written or so bad it is cringe-worthy. Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace and Joseph Gilgun do the best with what they were offered. Though the characters aren’t well written, succumb to stereotypes and clichés, and do things that don’t make sense in any context all three actors give it their all. Peter Stormare falls into the second category of acting present in Lockout. Though Swedish in real life he is attempting an American accent, possibly Texan, and fails tremendously. He delivers his lines in a clipped manner as if he is reading them off a cue card off camera. While Gilgun, who played the inmate who starts the revolution, gave a full-blown crazy performance that was sickening, confusing and entertaining, Stormare phoned it in.
Though there are a lot of confusing and awful elements happening in Lockout, I enjoyed the film and found it hilarious. Overall the film is bizarre and entertaining and really that’s all you can ask of it.
Reviewer Stacy Allen