The funniest thing about “Lockout,” a film that is not without several amusements of a subsidiary nature, is the notion that it is based on an “original idea” sprung from the brow of the alarmingly prolific French writer-director-producer Luc Besson.
The movie is a brazen scavenging of such dystopian forebears as “Escape from New York,” “Outland,” and “Demolition Man,” among a number of others that spring instantly to mind. Any claim to originality is risible.
The picture–scripted by Besson in collusion with the Irish directing team of James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, to whom he handed it off–is a helping of happy trash that asks only to be tolerated, however briefly. I think we can accommodate that desire with appropriate brevity.
The story, set in the year 2079, involves a disgraced CIA agent named Snow (Guy Pearce), who’s been framed for murder and espionage and sentenced to be dispatched to a supermax outer-space prison–MS One–where the inmates are kept in “stasis,” a sort of controlled coma. Before Snow can be sent on his way, though, a crisis develops. A do-gooding group that includes Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), daughter of the U.S. president, had been inspecting the prison, but now their visit has been disrupted by a breakout (triggered by a single prisoner–some supermax) and the group has been taken hostage.
Read the full review at Reason.com