Lockout

For anyone out there who hasn’t heard of the movie Lockout, let me enlighten you. The plot, according to starpulse.com, goes something like this “The U.S. government strong-arms a man accused of treason into rescuing the president’s daughter from a maximum-security space prison that’s been taken over by the inmates in a brutal riot.” All things considered, it’s a pretty decent sounding plot.
So, the perks of the movie:
1) Who doesn’t like a good main character? Marian (spoiler alert: he doesn’t reveal his name until the end of the movie) Snow is a cynical, incredibly entertaining guy with some kick-butt moves. He was easily the best part of the entire film.
2) A story is nothing without good villains, and the directors of the movie seemed to grasp that. The main villains (besides all the other loose convicts) were two Scottish brothers who were heading up the prison breakout. One was clever and calculating, and determined to have unquestioned authority. The other was simply a lunatic–creepy and perfect for a movie about escaped, insane space prisoners!
3) The basic plot is interesting.
And now to the downsides of the movie:
1) The president’s daughter, Emilie, is incredibly obnoxious. For some odd reason, she decides immediately that she doesn’t approve of Snow and fights everything he does to try to get her to safety. One scene involved him having to hold her down to cut and dye her hair a different color so she wouldn’t be recognized, and she was outraged because she wanted to keep looking pretty. Honestly, I’m pretty sure survival would be more important to most than the color and length of their hair.
2) There were far too many subplots. The movie begins with Snow being arrested for treason, which he wasn’t actually guilty of. At first, it looks like the treason is only in the movie at all to find some reason to convince him to go on a suicide mission to rescue the president’s daughter, but it is brought back at the end for a poorly done resolution. In other words, there is an unoriginal moment where one of the good guys turns out to be the one who actually committed treason; efficiently clearing Snow’s name and leaving him an opening to date Emilie. It had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story.
3) Lockout broke so many basic laws of nature that I could list them for hours, but I’ll only name a few:
A) There is scene where Snow manages to bring Emilie safely to an escape pod, but there’s only one seat, which he kindly gives to her. He watches the door shut with her inside and the air lock come on, but she gets out of the sealed escape pod. Whether she phased through the wall or not, it is far from possible that she could have gotten out of that seat.
B) There is also the small problem that, randomly, in the middle of their escape, the entire space station crashes into a satellite because the controls of the station were unmanned for maybe an hour. That wouldn’t have been the biggest deal in the world except that every single one of them acted shocked that a satellite could ram into the station at all. My question is, how would no one notice a satellite coming towards the prison in the first place? It’s not like satellites are particularly small or don’t show up on advanced, futuristic radars.
C) This last example makes me cringe a little every time I think about it. At the final point of their escape, the producers seem to have run out of money and/or the creativity needed to make the effects of the climax good. Snow and Emilie literally fall safely from the space station onto a road in about five seconds, after Snow loses his space suit so high up in the atmosphere that he should have died. That was their escape. They jumped out of a space station…and landed gently on a nicely padded road.
Basically, Lockout is not a quality film, and will be winning no awards any time soon. Granted, there were some entertaining moments, but those moments didn’t last long. Thank goodness the movie was only an hour and a half!
End of book quote: “She wrote all night, her words reviving the distant days when she still knew nothing of the joys and sorrows of the world, and bringing back to life all who had accompanied her on her fabulous journey.” —The Princetta by Anne-Laure Bondoux