The year is 2079 and in this so-called Sci-Fi futuristic thriller, entitled 'Lockout', 500 of the most violent criminals are kept in a state of suspended animation on a space station orbiting above earth. This high tech penitentiary is known as MS One.
I say so-called, because the sleeping prisoners are the only aspect of this film that can be deemed 'futuristic' or even, 'Sci-Fi.'
The film was written (along with Luc Besson) and directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, who I guess are famous for a 15 minute short called 'Prey Alone.'
Guy Pearce plays Agent Snow, who has been set up for a crime he didn't commit. He's about to be sent off to MS One for the 'big sleep,' when as fate or the movie gods would have it, there's a glitch in the prison's computer system and viola... the bad guys wake up and you guessed it... all hell breaks loose...
To make matters worse for the powers in charge, the President's daughter, Emilie (Maggie Grace) just happens to be visiting the prison to investigate rumors that long periods of artificial sleep can make these bad guys even more psycho than they already are.
Back to Agent Snow - He gets an offer he can't refuse, 'The Big Sleep' or rescue Emilie before the prisoners find out who she is. And well, you can imagine the rest.
And here lies my basic problem/problems with the film.
Besides a scenario we've seen thousands of times - over the top psychos with lots of tattoos, a damsel in distress and an anti-hero going against all odds to rescue the girl - the main character, Agent Snow, spends so much time cracking one joke after another that I wanted to throw my shoe at him. I get it... this dude doesn't do intimacy, but does he have to be so annoyingly glib? Apparently the writers think he does!
Lastly, this film could have taken place in any prison and in any part of the world with the exact same script. No one had to travel to space to bring us a bad version of 'Die Hard'.
On a positive note, I did enjoy the first 40 minutes of the film and for that reason I gave 'Lockout' 2 1/2 bagels out of 5. Check out our video to see John's bagel rating and hear his thoughts.
'Lockout' opens in theatres Friday April 13, 2012. Wait for the DVD.