Lockout begins in Washington DC, and in the year 2079, where Snow (Guy Pearce), an ex-CIA operative, is being quizzed by Scott Langral (Peter Stormare) about what happened one night in a hotel in New York, and what exactly happened to Colonel Frank Armstrong (Miodrag Stevanovic) and where’s the briefcase?
Questions, questions, questions…. but it’s difficult to get answers out of our anti-hero when he’s being constantly punched in the face by Langral’s right-hand man, Rupert (Michael Sopko).
Basically, Emilie, the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace), takes a space shuttle flight up to MS One, a maximum security space station which will eventually hold up to 500,000 prisoners from every country in the world. And there’s no physical or sexual abuse going on because they’re all asleep, held in stasis. This caused problems in their early years because of damage to the prisoners’ vital systems, but these issues have apparently since been eradicated.
She’s gone there to interview a prisoner about his time and treatment, but you know something’s going to kick off the moment her bodyguards are told there are to be no guns to be taken in the prisoner’s side of the screen and one of them sneaks one in strapped to his lower leg…
The prisoner they pick, Hydell (Joseph Gilgun, bottom), is the most psychotic out of all the 500 currently in residence and who escapes and orders all the prisoners’ “cells” to be opened up with the President’s daughter being held captive. Who’s going to go in and save her? The Marines? No, obviously, it’ll be Snow.
There’s lots of little comic asides from Guy Pearce such as, when offered the chance to rescue Emilie, he replies, “I’d rather castrate myself with blunt rocks.”, although after a short while these stop hitting the mark because of his flat delivery of them. In addition, there’s barely any chemistry between him and Maggie Grace, which is what the majority of the film is based around.
Snow’s only other reason to go there is to rescue his friend who helped him get the briefcase originally, Mace (Tim Plester). And while up there, Snow is assisted by friend and colleague Harry (Lennie James, most recently seen in the excellent Line of Duty, but here, he’s putting on a ridiculous American accent).
The cover declares it as “Die Hard in space”. Well, it isn’t, but it does rip off a scene or two in part, such as crawling round ventilation ducts. There’s also a weird chase scene at the start of the film which looks like it was meant to look like they’d spent a lot of time putting it together, but the final special effect is as if it’s been thrown together in an afternoon.
Overall, it’s a so-so 90 minutes. If you’ve got nothing better to do then it’ll pass the time, but there’s not a thing here that you haven’t seen before, which makes it far from essential.
Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture is sharp and detailed, building up the stark atmosphere of MS One. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, and there are a number of scenes where loud volume is required for gunfire and explosions, which is all good fun.
The extras are as follows, and aren’t subtitled except for when there’s foreign language:
- Interviews: Mixed in with clips from the film, these are with Guy Pearce (9:21), Maggie Grace (5:59), two interviews with Joseph Gilgun (4:07 & 4:44) and co-director Stephen St. Leger (7:00).
All are okay, but too short for anything meaningful. Oddly, St. Leger tries to reference his film with The African Queen for the two leads being opposites. Well, they are, but they don’t have the chemistry that Bogart and Hepburn had, which, for me, was the only good thing about that film.
Not sure why there’s two from Joseph Gilgun, but then the latter is more of an outtakes, so I guess they included it as it is quite amusing.
Torsion Field’s Sequence (3:43): It’s like a big fan, and this segment features animatics (CGI storyboards) to show how it was created.
MS One Action (4:56): And like other segments, there are work-in-progress shots, this time of creating the action on the space station. By this point, these featurettes are all getting a bit samey.
MS One Construction (8:04): The design of the space station.
Unreleased scenes (2:38): Well, alternate scenes, really. There’s two, here, and they definitely should’ve included the first one. The original scene used for the second was fine, however.
Previews: Trailers for Gone, Piranha 3DD and The Grey. Good to see that they’re in the extras menu, and not loading up as soon as the disc starts like some studios do. Glad EIV have been sensible, here. Oddly, there are no trailers for the film you’ve been watching.
The menu mixes images from the film with a small piece of looped theme music. There are subtitles in English only and a woeful 12 chapters over the 95-minute running time. I go by the rule of thumb of one every five minutes, taking into account one each for the opening and closing credits.
Running time: 95 minutes
Distributor: Entertainment in Video
Cat no: EBR5199
Released: August 20th 2012
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Lomoscope)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: James Mather and Stephen St. Leger
Producer: Marc Libert and Leila Smith
Screenplay: Stephen St. Leger, James Mather and Luc Besson
Music: Alexandre Azaria
Snow: Guy Pearce
Emilie Warnock: Maggie Grace
Alex: Vincent Regan
Hydell: Joseph Gilgun
Harry Shaw: Lennie James
Scott Langral: Peter Stormare
Hock: Jacky Ido
John James Mace: Tim Plester
Barnes: Mark Tankersley
Kathryn: Anne-Solenne Hatte
President Warnock: Peter Hudson
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.