Lockout 2012

Notice how there is no rating?

I have no idea how to rate this movie.

Normally my standard for "so bad it's good movies" like the Room or Troll 2 is like, 2.5/5, as some default way I've developed to express entertainment value in spite of itself. This is somewhere along that lines, but 2.5/5 would feel like both a gift and a crime, as would any other number.

Lockout is Escape from New York (in my opinion actually, more Escape From LA) in space. This film is quite confident in its awesomeness, but fails in some of the most unusually awesome ways. If Equilibrium is what happens when Hollywood makes a film based on a 12 year old's reaction to reading 1984 and then watching the Matrix, then Lockout is what happens when a 12 year old wants to make Die Hard happen on Battlestar Galactica's Astral Queen.

EVERY line of Guy Pearce's dialogue is run through a poorly assembled McClane filter, a bad one liner, a badass threat, a cocky piece of dialogue to avoid someones serious question, on repeat, never at once taking anything seriously, but all with such a serious face that the character is never charismatic or fun. Maggie Grace took me back in time to relive what is what like to wish death upon her character Shannon from LOST.

Lockout, particularly in the first half, is one of the worst edited films in recent memory. The whole film plays in fast forward, with threats, deaths, plot points, shifts and twists, occurring at random. A character shot himself in the head (which I laughed at for 2 minutes) seemingly out of nowhere. It might have made sense, but the fast forward plotting and even faster forward retconning can only make you shrug through all of it.

It's one of those movies you'd tell to fuck off out loud at home every time it attempts to defy your expectations and move a different direction.

This film has ADD, bored with itself and changing its focus on a dime. Its about finding this guy Mace! No! It's about saving the girl! No wait, the ship its going to crash into earth! No wait, its about a briefcase! No wait! It's frantic pace is accentuated by action scenes with no geography or clear view of anything that is occurring. On top of all of this is apparently one piece of score, played on a loop REALLY LOUD over everything, even slower scenes, to try and ramp up the stake regardless of how it fits the scene. I think they saw Dark Knight and Inception and how Zimmer's score always keeps it building and thought they could pull off the same trick?

Lockout's villains are kind of generic, save for one guy who is like Spud from Trainspotting combined with the weird lead singer from Fishbone. He's as hyper and grating as Andy Dick.

Oh, and here's a spoiler warning

SPOILER
SPOILER
SPOILER

They skydive from a motherfucking space station, through the atmosphere, parachute pops out, and sail to a nice piece of highway in a future city with the cops waiting for them. They're fine. It was here that my brain broke, no longer able to figure out to what level this was supposed to be taken seriously, and how much was a joke that has just been told badly . Was this supposed to be the space equivalent of the Escape from LA surfing scene?

There is so much about Lockout that is just plain incompetent in its filmmaking, character development and writing that stuff like that just defies explanation and makes this impossible to rate. I guess this is 'so bad it's good' territory but it's also kind of irritating. I laughed and applauded but I also wanted to bash my head against the wall. If it had the nerve to kills its heroes I probably would have stood up and cheered.

It's a trainwreck in the sense that the train crashed, and was smashed into a million pieces which somehow fell back into the shape of a train. I'm really glad I saw this with a lot of people. I guess this is the worst movie of the year, but it will be far from the worst movie experience of the year. Even with so many enjoyably bad movies under my belt, for now this one defies a traditional rating. Until then...

H/5 stars.. or &/5 stars. Whatever.

5 Comments

  • The things you dislike makes me want to see it even more. Escape from NY/LA in space is a pretty fucking awesome concept.

  • No matter how bad or ironically bad a movie is, you gotta give me something good or funny to hang my hat on. This had nothing.

  • Where did this movie come from? Saw the trailer last night, not heard or seen a single thing about it before. I really like Luc Besson (when he's not off making awful French cartoons or sticking his name on any old direct to DVD tat).

    Hmm.... to see or not to see (though saying that, might be limited release in the UK anyway)

  • Excellent review. You nailed it when you talk about the parachuting from space. It did my head in that they were going a million miles a second with a space station right behind them (also, how exactly do you FALL in space) then they open their parachutes and suddenly they are landing ever so softly on the highway. Laughable editing!

  • Pretty much said everything about this film that I wasn't really able to express myself but was definitely going through my mind afterward. Saw it in theaters and wasn't sure if my money was well spent or not..

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