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Tuesday, July 17, 2012




It's the future, the year 2078. The President's daughter is trapped in a prison in space. Someone has to save her. Those three sentences sum up Lockout, but one can add a fourth sentence to answer the first question that comes up: Liam Neeson was busy. One would expect Neeson to save the day because Maggie Grace, who played Neeson's daughter kidnapped by a sex cartel in Taken, is the President's daughter. Grace just can't catch a break. Her hero instead is Guy Pearce, playing Liev Schrieber. No fooling, Pearce does a dead on impression of Schrieber's voice. Shut your eyes, you'd think it's Schrieber. 

Grace was visiting the orbital supermax prison Maximum Security One, or M.S. One, (helpfully described as such by the on screen graphics well past the point of the audience being able to identify it by sight) on a humanitarian mission. Prisoners on M.S. One, the worst rapists and murderers on Earth, are held in "stasis" but are secretly being subjected to experiments to test human response to deep space travel. Problem is, stasis seems to leave some (but not all) the prisoners lobotomized. They're rapists and murderers - who cares? Well, Grace does. Her heart bleeds for them. Except it stops bleeding when she starts bleeding, after a deadly foul up occurs during a routine interview with a prisoner. Soon, all of the prisoners are released and take the crew of M.S. One hostage. The inmates are running the asylum, er, prison but they don't know they have the President's daughter hostage.

Enter Pearce, a guy with a one way ticket to M.S. One after he's accused of murder but gets finagled into going on a one-man rescue mission to bring Grace home. He's non-plussed about it. By 'it', I mean 'everything'. Nothing phases Pearce, who doesn't take a single moment of Lockout seriously. Pearce and Grace have a prickly relationship of her calling him obnoxious and him rolling his eyes at her pleas to help her save all the hostages. Pearce does rescue Grace without a lot of trouble, but then Grace does an incredibly stupid thing that no one in their right mind would do right when she's all but totally saved, but it was necessary to keep the plot spinning another half hour. Meanwhile, Pearce is after a McGuffan, a friend of his imprisoned on M.S. One who knows where a briefcase is hidden that contains a microchip that's really, really super important to no one but Pearce.

Everything turned out okay, though. Especially since there probably won't be a Lockout 2.