Friday 20 April 2012

"Lockout" (The Scotsman 20/04/12)

(15) **
Directed by: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger
Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun

Guy Pearce gets to tick the “Wisecracking Action Hero” box in his I-Spy Book of Diverse Modern Acting Choices with this very ordinary futuristic thriller, which an opening credit asserts is “based on an original idea by Luc Besson”. Well, you decide. It’s 2079, and Pearce’s crook Snow has been dispatched by the CIA to rescue the president’s daughter (Grace, reprising her Taken damsel-in-distress role), who’s had the misfortune to visit a maximum security prison orbiting the Earth on the very day scuzzy Scottish siblings Regan and Gilgun have decided to overrun the facility.

If its tongue is unmistakably in cheek, Lockout has nothing much else in its head: rote in its plot reversals, lumpen in its exposition, it suffers from a scrambled wraparound story that suggests major recutting in post-production. Pearce, a genuine trouper, gets the debutant directors’ sniggering tone and almost holds it all together, but Snow’s less a character than a pile of sporadically funny quips. Shot in Serbia, with a mostly European supporting cast adopting American accents, it looks and sounds like what it is: reconstituted DVD fodder that’s wandered into cinemas by mistake.

Lockout opens in cinemas nationwide today.

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