Sci-fi dud continues spring movie slump , but help is on the way.
One scene in Lockout sums up the ineptitude of this unbearably bad sci-fi effort from Luc Besson, who produced and co-wrote the screenplay. Guy Pearce, as the reluctant hero Snow, is trying to escape a space station prison with the president’s daughter Emilie (played by former Lost star Maggie Grace). Wearing spacesuits with parachutes, they leap off the station that is hurling towards the earth and begin their decent into the atmosphere from space. Their suits start glowing red from the friction and just seconds later, we see them suddenly land gently on a city street.
Are you kidding me? It took Kiteman longer to get from the top of Veteran’s stadium to home plate to deliver the first pitch for the Phillies in 1972.
Lockout is a badly constructed mash-up of Demolition Man and Con Air, neither of which was great, but at least they were entertaining.
Beginning with the standard cliché of the former lawman accused of a crime and convicted, Snow is headed for the purgatory of the space prison, where he will be put in suspended animation like the rest of the sleeping “worst-of-the-worst” criminals being stored at the facility.
The president’s daughter is touring the facility to make sure the prisoners are being treated property. She fears that being in stasis makes the deadly prisoners even more demented. Of course the only way to test that theory is to wake them up and question them. When her secret service protector is stupid enough to hide a gun in the interview room with a totally insane prisoner (Joseph Gilgun), the prisoner manages to steal the gun and havoc ensues.
Not that any of it seems even remotely possible. That one prisoner — and not a very bright one at that — could take that gun and find a way to unlock all the other prisoners, who come out of deep sleep instantly and ready to rumble, is beyond ludicrous. It makes Demolition Man, the Sylvester Stallone flick about a cryro-prison break, look like Blade Runner in comparison.
That actors as accomplished as Pearce, Peter Stormare and Lenny James are stuck in this quagmire makes one wonder what the hell their agents were thinking when they suggested this script as a good career move. The less said about Ms. Grace the better. Her skill level is on par with the material.
Officially this is a French film, which oddly makes me feel better. At least we can’t blame Hollywood for this bomb.
Movies have generally been so lousy the past couple of months, the influx of spring/early summer films can’t come soon enough. Matter of fact, The Avengers is kicking off the season this week. Here are 10 movies that I’m looking forward to seeing in May and June
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