Movie Review: “Lockout”

2starsGuy Pearce goes into low Earth orbit to get his cool back in “Lockout,” a silly sci-fi B-picture made fun by his star turn in the lead role.

It’s “Escape from New York” in space, with Pearce channeling Kurt Russell brawny bravado as Snow, a disgraced CIA agent sent to rescue the president’s daughter who is caught up in a convict’s revolt in the M.S. One space prison.

Pearce is as frosty as a meat locker, from the film’s first moments — a brutal interrogation in which Snow answers every body blow with a one liner.

“I don’t like hurting people,” his interrogator (Peter Stormare) purrs, before his assistant delivers another punch.

“Is that why you’re letting him do it?”

But there’s a way off. Go fetch the president’s do-gooder daughter (Maggie Grace), whose prison conditions investigation visit coincided with a prison riot on Maximum Security One. Five hundred murderers and rapists, led by a couple of Scots (Vioncent Regan and Joseph Gilgun), are out of “stasis” (deep freeze) and holding her is their insurance. Snowis shot into space and talked-through a space walk and break-in that will lead him to the girl.

“I’d rather castrate myself with blunt rocks.”

She runs out of oxygen, he has to revive her.

“I was dead?”

“Yeah. So far, I think I prefer you that way.”

The effects, especially those on Earth, are plainly animated and rough around the edges. The action on board the station has Snow defying the laws of physics at every turn. Action producer Luc Besson, who came up with the story and contracted others to direct it, doesn’t know much about space or physics or the U.S. Constitution, especially in he year 2079.

The producer of the “Transporter” movies and “Taken” is all about the action, which is, truth be told, only passable here. No car chases make Monsieur Luc’s movies dull.

But Pearce took the job and showed up for work with gum in his mouth and a one-liners that fly by, even in zero G.

“Shhhhhhh.”

“What, did you hear something?”

“Noooo. I’m just enjoying the silence.”

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and language including some sexual references

Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace

Credits: Directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, written by Luc Besson, James Mather and Stephen St. Leger. A FilmDistrict release.

Running time: 1:35

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