Lockout ★★★½

Action movies often star blokes trained in various martial arts trying to string a sentence together let alone act, so I was intrigued to discover an actor signing on for the type of ridiculous heroics normally reserved for the Van Dammes, Stathams and Stallones. The president's daughter needs saving from a prison full of half crazed Scottish mentalists - in space!!! - and only Guy Pearce is man enough for the job. Wait, what?Playing a special secret operative wrongly accused of something or other, Pearce has bulked up a bit and does look fucking hard in a flak jacket. Better still his character Snow has great personality, fantastic deadpan line delivery and most surprisingly a rather decent script to work with. The majority of his quips are directed towards Maggie Grace's spoilt little princess (does she ever play anything else?) and their relationship helps make up for some of the film's flaws.

The effects are Babylon 5 bad, with the story taking place in the future and mostly in space, which is a shame. Yet at least they are consistently naff so you eventually settle into the 'style'. A bigger problem for me was the lack of action. Snow is a survivor and certainly knows how to escape from life threatening situations chiefly by running away while firing a shotgun over his shoulder. Yes he comes good when it counts, but I was gagging for him to get in a decent fist fight - if Liam Neeson can do it then why not Pearce? Set pieces are snatched from a Mission Impossible movie and a Halo game, both less enjoyable second go around. At times events are presented in a confusing order while obvious outcomes get overly expained to make sure you're keeping up. Hopefully a director's cut is out there somewhere...please...

Thankfully Pearce and Grace are not alone amongst this mess, with Joseph Gilgun putting in a fabulous performance as one of the Scottish nutjobs. All three deserved to be put into an escape pod and blasted into a much better movie. That said it's good fun and I would love to see a sequel as long as Pearce spends some time in a dojo first.

Steve liked this review