I can’t begin to describe Luc Besson’s Lockout without making reference to Star Wars. Not because Lockout deserves to be mentioned in the same galaxy as that 1977 classic, but to highlight that the similarities between the two do not make Lockout especially interesting.
Han Solo, I mean, Snow (Guy Pearce) is framed for espionage in 2071 America. He is given a chance to redeem himself if he goes aboard the Death Star, I mean, maximum security orbital prison to rescue the princess, I mean, First Daughter of the President of the United States, Emilie Warnock (the lovely Maggie Grace).
As you can imagine, there is little rhyme or reason as to why the First Daughter was even allowed to enter this space prison, nor why she did not go with at least a battalion of Marines to guard her. Yes, the inmates are all kept in stasis while there, but why the prison warden allowed her to meet with the lunatic Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) is beyond plausible explanation. Nor do I care. The entire setup of this movie ignores logic at almost every turn. What follows is a station crawl as Snow and Emilie try to evade and escape from the Imperial stormtroopers, I mean, prisoners, hunting for them.
Spoiler Alert (and lots of them): Given the chance to escape, Emilie refuses to go, allowing her escape pod to leave without her. Ugh. The leader of the prisoners (who of course all come out of stasis – did you have to ask?) is Alex (Vincent Regan) brother of the crazy Hydell, who assumes command of the prisoners without explanation as to why they would follow him in particular. Perhaps it is his cool beard.
Also, the orbital prison is destroyed at the end of the film by an attack of X-wings, I mean, American space fighters, which shoot a missile into the center of the station to blow it up. No, really, that is what happens!
Snow is your typical wisecracking tough guy/special ops/cop type, and his character shows promise at times. I could also see him being put into a sequel that is better than this first installment. That being said, he is not very much different from any other tough guy of the genre, and apart from the heavy Star Wars similarity, the film most reminds me of Die Hard, with the lone American battling an international cast of space bad guys.
Lockout is not terrible. It is not that good either.