It’s 2079 and the eternal problem of overcrowded prisons is finally resolved. Instead of putting prisoners in small rooms with chances of escape, riots and guards that go on strike, we just shoot them into space! At least, just about. The most dangerous prisoners get put in a cryogenic sleep and like plants are set aside each other in a large prison complex that floats in space.
To see if everything is going “according to the rules” and there’s no advantage taken from the prisoners, Emilie Warnock, daughter of the American president, comes to visit and take interviews from some prisoners. Of course everything goes terribly wrong and before you know it the prison is in the hands of the most dangerous villains that roam Earth (or should we say “roamed”?).
As the station can’t just be shot out of space while the president’s daughter is still on there, former CIA agent Snow – who was wrongfully accused of murder and was supposed to be sent to the same jail – is sent to free the daughter before the commandos set things straight with guns blazing.
“Die Hard meets Blade Runner” is written in big letters on the cover of the box but the story more looks like “Con Air” or “Escape from New York” with “in space” written after it. We do get the link towards Die Hard though. Guy Pearce plays the anti-hero Snow who was convicted for murder and laughs away just about everything that happens. The scene with Peter Stormare where Snow gets beaten to pulp by a guy called “Rupert” is a great example of this and will make you smile.
This feeling, however, is shortlived as quickly Snow starts to wander around with too much lack of interest and when he then suddenly does grow a conscience this isn’t credibly anymore. The problem of Lockout, however, isn’t with Pearce as such but with his competition. Con Air had a great John Malkovich as bad guy, but Vincent Regan doesn’t convince and also Joseph Gilgun is more irritating than interesting as opponent.
None of the characters can really convince and the plot is tied together badly. Luckily directors James Mather en Stephen St. Leger (who also wrote the script) make up by showing things really beautifully. The chases, the fights in the station, … it all looks gorgious and the 95-minute movie goes forth fast enough to never become truly boring.
Lockout will never win any awards or be remembered, but it’s a fun movie for an evening of brainless fun.
The transfer onto Blu-ray is truly excellent. Dirt on uniforms, sweat on faces, drops of blood, … it can all be watched and admired in great detail and this without compression errors. Sadly enough the 1080p image is so good that some of the special effects are too obviously computer-generated or filmed with a green-screen making them look rather silly. Equally good is the sound that uses all channels optimally and truly brings the movie to life in your living room while dialogues never get overwhelmed due to the background noises. Even with multiple explosions happening at the same time you have no issue with understanding what is being said. Excellent!