More Escape From LA than New York…

Touted as the next level of bone-breaking action flicks, Lockout is essentially John Carpenter on steroids, an unofficial Escape From New York (in space!) redux so dumbed-down and single-minded that it barely requires a plot at all. Which is good news, since it barely has one.

Guy Pearce is the singularly named Snow, a wisecracking, rogue ex-CIA agent (seriously) who gets railroaded on false conspiracy charges and then forced to take on an impossible mission to earn his freedom.

The goal? Travel to a space prison (!) and safely pluck out the US president's daughter (Maggie Grace), a fact-finding diplomat who, naturally, finds herself in the middle of a full-scale prison riot, surrounded on all sides by crazed rapists and murderers. In space, remember.

Co-written and produced by the indefatigable Luc Besson and double-team directed by first-timers James Mather and Stephen St Leger, Lockout certainly looks like a modern action film: the blue-grey monochrome sets, the CGI-boosted chase scenes, and the ADD-addled edits are all where they're supposed to be.

However, this is very clearly a throwback to the cinematic wild west of the 1980s, where cartoony good guys keep up the snappy repartee even while getting smashed in the chops and no stunt is too improbable to try, not even a parachute drop from space.

The only VHS-era elements missing are the scrappy low-budget grit (Lockout’s production cost was $20 million, which still buys a lot of digital gloss) and the R-rated cheap thrills of popped tops and flowing blood.

And therein lies the problem. Lockout is like a rich kid pretending to slum it in the servant's rags, a moneyed piffle undeserving of its hype.

Ultimately, it’s a second-tier weekend video rental, the bottom of a triple-bill that might also feature, say, Death Race and Die Hard 2. You know, the one you fall asleep to in a beer and popcorn coma.


Luc Besson’s clunky, space-bound actioner apes ’80s B-flick excess but skimps on all the good parts. Fans of really bad science and pixelated CGI won’t be disappointed, though.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Murphy0806

      Apr 19th 2012, 18:37

      How do you know they are taking the p**s if you haven't seen the film? Do you honestly get that annoyed when someone doesn't like a film you are hoping will be good when you get around to seeing it?

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    • Joe7277

      Apr 19th 2012, 19:48

      I'm just happy 'The King of Cinema' didn't provide a long list of films or prepubescent boys in his comment for once!

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    • writerdave87

      Apr 19th 2012, 21:35

      Once again, the King of Cinema passes judgement on a film he hasn't seen even though he regularly throws a temper tantrum whenever anyone else makes valid criticism of something he likes.

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    • thejonner

      Apr 19th 2012, 21:46

      Wow. The review, which offered a reasoned and reasonable opinion on the film, was offered by a critic basing it on matters such as genre expectations, historical context, budget, etc. Most importantly, it was review by someone who SAW it. Your Majesty, you, well you saw the effing trailer. Every time there's a review which contradicts your opinion (whether or not you've actually seen the film in question), you chuck a mental. If opinions which contradict yours upset you so much (and, given that it's film under discussion, MANY differing points of view will be offered), why bother reading them. Also, if you're going to see it, anyway, what in God's name is your problem?

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    • thejonner

      Apr 19th 2012, 22:07

      Re: Wrath of the Titans... TheKingofCinema Mar 31st 2012, 22:53 @moviemind91 oh shut up & grow up. have you even seen the film yet?. because if you havent you can not judge it can you. Alert a moderator

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    • Jardoss

      Apr 19th 2012, 22:26

      Ah, another discussion based on opinions again^^ Anyway: Honestly agree with Total Film's statements here. I mean, I haven't seen the movie yet myself, but taken the fact that the CGI are pixelated (which is like 50% of the movie as far as I know), and the plot doesn't exist.. I dunno If I wanna see it after all haha ^^

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    • writerdave87

      Apr 20th 2012, 0:15

      You like battlefield earth and that was widely considered one of the worst films ever made. You also hate a load of extremely good films. Face it, you're just a retarded nonsensical little chimp.

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    • marc96

      Apr 20th 2012, 2:03

      it seems to me that lockout has been criticised here for all the reasons that when the trailer came out total film were praising it... cartoony good guys from the 80's etc.... we all knew this felt like a remake of escape from new york but in space but guy pearce made it look great. but because you feel it didnt work out it sounds like your slagging it off for the very reasons your were giving it credit in the first place. i havent seen it yet but hope that when i do i still enjoy it. oh & @thekingofcinema (god knows why you called yourself that), once again you have told someone to f**k off and used other swear words at someone for having a different opinion, but when someone criticises you, you tell them its your own opinion & everyone is different etc.. maybe you should heed your own words before verbally abusing someone from total film, i may have disagreed with their opinion but i still respect it

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    • thejonner

      Apr 20th 2012, 6:47

      @TheKingofCinema I'm not trying to scare you (why on EARTH would you write something like that?), I'm merely pointing out your contradictory standpoints when it comes to your opinions on different films. If you like it, Total Film and everyone else is wrong, even if they've seen it and you haven't. If people slag films off that you like or are interested in but haven't seen it themselves, you tell them off for offering opinions to yours despite the fact that they've yet to view it. You're a child and I must be, too, for engaging with you. Now, eff off and watch your Brian Bosworth boxset or something.

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    • asmooth

      Apr 20th 2012, 12:18

      Can we refer to TheKingofCinema as 'The Koc' from now on? I for one will watch the reviwed movie - on dvd - one day.

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    • Ali1748

      Apr 20th 2012, 18:37

      Ashame I was looking forward to this.

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    • ThrashGordon

      Apr 21st 2012, 1:30

      So... is this film so bad it's good? I saw Battleship the other day and thought that was great, enjoyable and totally naff at the same time! Was looking forward to seeing this, as Escape From New York is one of my favourite films... albeit the last film that had the title referenced was Doomsday, which apart from a few (unintentionally?) hilarious bits was pretty rubbish. Double standards here? I don't know! But still, I like sci-fi, B-movie aesthetics/themes and EFNY/Snake Plissken, this should be a winner right?!

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    • chrysler

      Apr 21st 2012, 11:28

      The TF review above is fair, I saw this last night. Was hoping it would be akin to TAKEN in space and I it felt like it had a lot of promise but ultimately I was left wanting for more tense action set pieces. Pearse is very funny and a good action lead. Id say 80% of his lines are one-line smart a*s comments, which I thought were hilarious. At the end of the film one guy started applauding, he was alone in this regard. I also found that hilarious. 5/10 (Good but you're better off waiting for DVD).

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    • FBGRees

      Apr 21st 2012, 16:33

      at the end of the day every one has a view about something or another , its about the films themselves that you enjoy and tickle your fancy if its ticking the boxes of what you like in a film then, that will be enough to make you go watch it .Reviews are only an opinion , and yours mite be different to theres or will be the same. im loking forward to seeing it cause it ticking my boxes. the only critic i listen to is myself.

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    • filmfreak2

      Apr 23rd 2012, 12:26

      It is amazing !! I have just found great stream online in HD , here is link This site is becoming number one in USA,,enjoy

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    • FBJBottomley

      Apr 24th 2012, 0:12

      I rather enjoyed Lockout, its the kind of popcorn munching action film rarely seen nowadays, perhaps there is a reason for that. Regardless, Pearce hits his one liners and the action is of reasonable quality, even if the film is missing that anti-hero vs nasty baddie climax you'd be hoping for. Still throwback fun, reminiscent of an 80s John Carpenter B-Movie. 3/5

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    • Indianabones

      Apr 24th 2012, 15:43


      did anyone notce in the beginning credits it said based on an original idea by Luc Besson....... seemed a bit of a rip off to me! other than that it was an alright film, still prefer snake than snow (my goodness, even sounds the same) but I really like Pearce! think he is an under used actor! think its worth 21/2 not a 3 but not a 2

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