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The Kidd Vs. LOCKOUT


If you took ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, sucked out all the blood, violence and fun from it, moved it to space and replaced the wise-cracking Kurt Russell with a smart-ass Guy Pearce, what would you get? LOCKOUT.

Stemming from an original idea in the mind of Luc Besson that looks an awful lot like John Carpenter’s cult classic, LOCKOUT takes a former CIA agent whose been wrongly convicted for the murder of a U.S. Colonel and puts him in the position of being the only man capable of saving the President’s daughter who is now trapped and being held hostage at a supermax prison facility in outer space. Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly like ESCAPE, but it’s pretty damn close. There are some variations on the Snake Plissken story and motivation, but when you break it down to the basics, it’s a one-man job of a formerly respected patriot entering into an impossible situation for a rescue mission of someone in the Presidential family.

The one thing LOCKOUT ever has going for it is Guy Pearce, whose presence in any movie, I believe, instantly makes it better. That’s clearly the case here as, without Pearce, playing the man simply known as Snow, LOCKOUT would be unwatchable. Snow can be a little one-note at times as a guy whose first language is sarcasm, but at least you can see Pearce having fun in a film that everyone else seems to be taking way too seriously for something that easily ranks below a B-movie.  This is the type of movie you would have caught at like 3:00 in the morning on a Saturday night on the USA Network back in the day… you know, when no rational people would have been up to see it. It’s a script filled with snarky comments and pithy comebacks that give Snow the only material that’s entertaining to watch, because, outside of him, the rest of LOCKOUT is pretty much garbage.

The second Peter Stormare pops his face on-screen, you know he’s going to be up to no good. You'll be wishing he was given a role a bit more over the top to play into his strengths, too, because, LOCKOUT even manages to make him a bit bland as the overzealous head of the Secret Service, who may be underhanded at times but not in the type of sleazy way that’s at least interesting to watch. And forget about Maggie Grace as the President’s daughter. She’s so forcibly filled with message about the treatment of prisoners and basic human rights that when she speaks, she’s about as lifeless as a politician sticking to their talking points, and, when she tries to take the character beyond that, she becomes this shrill and annoying anchor weighing Snow’s entertainment value down that you almost wish he’d leave her behind just so we wouldn’t be subject to her performance any longer. That’s the real sentence of being trapped on the MS-1 prison… having to watch Maggie Grace try to be someone of moderate intelligence on-screen and failing miserably at it to the point of laughing at how bad it gets.

For a sci-fi actioner, you’d think LOCKOUT might be capable of at least dazzling you with its special effects. You’d be wrong on that count, as in the hands of rookie directors Stephen St. Leger and James Mather, LOCKOUT looks as if it was made by a couple of amateurs. The few fights that do exist are framed with the shaky cam, as to be expected, and there’s one chase sequence that is not only disorienting but the effects don’t even look fully rendered and it’s shot to look as if your seat should be moving beneath you to match its style as one of the accompanying films you’d see inside a simulator theme park ride.

LOCKOUT tries to play it safe for the PG-13 crowd, but, in choosing to not go all the way, the movie becomes quite silly at times and incredibly stupid at others. After all, how else do you explain a movie that features both the President’s daughter seemingly unaware that she’s dealing with violent convicts and a skydive to Earth from space? LOCKOUT was more than capable of being dumb fun, but along the way, only the dumb part of that equation seems to have been kept.


-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback
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  • April 12, 2012, 3:23 a.m. CST


    by victor_von_gloom

  • April 12, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Oh, by the way, second and third.

    by victor_von_gloom

  • April 12, 2012, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Oh, and Billy, Escape from N.Y. wasn't all that great...

    by victor_von_gloom

    I've always felt that John Carpenter could never interpret his own material. He came up with great concepts, but 90% of the time, he was inept in executing them - With the few exceptions, suchas The Thing, his made for TV biopic: Elvis and In The Mouth of Madness.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:42 a.m. CST

    yes Escape from NY was crappy

    by Rupee88

    I don't get why people like it. The Thing was great though.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:45 a.m. CST

    I wanted to see this. Then I watched the first 5 minutes online.

    by zillabeast

    The extreme shaky cam was so disorienting that I literally quit paying attention to what was happening and just hoping they would show me something my eyes could comprehend. It didn't happen though.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:49 a.m. CST

    victor - the only movie youre paying to see is Avengers

    by Dubster32

    in a year with Dark Knight Rises, Cabin In The Woods, Hobbit, Prometheus ... hard to please or just a tightwad ?

  • April 12, 2012, 4:01 a.m. CST

    dubster32, being a Marvel geek, The Avengers is dream come true...

    by victor_von_gloom

    The Dark Knight, Cabin and Prometheus I can wait the four of five months until the Blu-Ray...The Hobbit (on second thought) I will splurge to see.

  • April 12, 2012, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Regarding Maggie Grace

    by Breotan

    The script isn't the reason "she’s about as lifeless as a politician sticking to their talking points". She is simply that bad an actress. She is to acting what Uwe Boll is to directing. Seriously, I don't understand how she keeps getting work.

  • April 12, 2012, 4:24 a.m. CST

    Shakespeare for goodness sake. Lord love a duck !

    by higgledyhiggles

  • April 12, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST

    Christopher Lambert?

    by Breotan

    The Highlander guy? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little...

  • April 12, 2012, 4:50 a.m. CST

    People dissing Escape from New York?

    by Volllllume3

    You geeks have no fucking soul because that movie was a MASTERPIECE.

  • April 12, 2012, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Billy 'The Hipster' Kidd, the NEW breed of movie critic!!1!

    by t_allen

    Always a negative review. I'll still go see it just because I like this kind of film. Doubt this Kidd would know anything good if it fell into his lap. I bet this guy would blast Casablanca for it's lack of visual depth at the end because of the fog and lack of visual effects or something equally stupid.

  • April 12, 2012, 5:14 a.m. CST


    by Breotan

    More like piece of... something.

  • ...more like 13 year old clown shoes! John Carpenter has made some great movies, Halloween, Prec' 13, Escape from New York, The Thing.. But if you'r thang is big muscle men wrestling eachother and cgi space men fighting cgi monsters go knock yourself out buddy.

  • April 12, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Was there really any high hopes for this film?

    by Cedric Ford

  • April 12, 2012, 5:52 a.m. CST


    by Mike Jenner

    Thank you! I thought I was alone in my view on Carpenter but clearly not. I think the concept of Escape is brilliant and Snake is a terrific character. But the film as executed by Carpenter just isn't that great. You really don't care about any of the characters, the action is un-involving and the whole thing just kind of plods along at a pace which seems totally wrong. Kurt Russell is really the only thing that holds the interest. I thought the same thing with Big Trouble In Little China. Again, great idea for what could have been a really fun movie but it just wasn't. As you say there have been standout moments in Carpenter's career - The Thing and Elvis and Halloween for example. But his ideas have pretty much always been larger than his talent. I'm probably a lone voice here but I actually wouldn't mind a remake of Escape From New York. In the hands of a decent director we could finally end up with a movie as superb as the concept.

  • April 12, 2012, 5:54 a.m. CST

    Once again, Billy fails to provide a positive review.

    by TheMachinist

    Nice Job. I mean that sincerely.

  • April 12, 2012, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Guy gotta eat

    by Karl Childers

    Actually I had a lot of respect for the guy when he wouldn't play Daredevil thinking he had it in himself to be a true a list actor. I was shocked to see him star in this.

  • April 12, 2012, 6:26 a.m. CST

    B-Movie does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and indeed FORTRESS are both B movie style genre flicks... But also both great fun! Lighten up and enjoy!!

  • April 12, 2012, 6:29 a.m. CST

    but ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is a bloodless non-violent action movie

    by Spandau Belly

    Everybody's memories play tricks on them when it comes to EFNY. It does seem like it should be a really gorey exploitive movie, and that's why everybody remembers it that way, but it's actually really tame, especially for the 80s. Seriously, watch it again. That movie would definately be PG if released today. It's mostly just Snake wandering around and talking to people. There's very little action and it's all of the non-gorey variety such as car chases etc.

  • April 12, 2012, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Escape From New York is definitely overated

    by Wcwlkr

  • April 12, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST

    I thought this was going to be R

    by Wcwlkr

    I remember the first trailer & I thought it was R rated. Once I saw they dumbed it down to PG-13 you could tell it was heading down a bad road. Movies like this and The Expendables need that R, because it allows you to overlook the stupidity of plot and bad acting for Balls to the wall bloody action. I mean Expendables was horrendous acting wise, and the story beyond stupid, but guess what I didn't care! Because that last action sequence with Terry Crews blowing people up with a shotgun, Jet Li, and Statham just mercing guys made you go WHO CARES!

  • I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm just wondering how he'll hate on The Avengers, or TDKR.

  • April 12, 2012, 7:29 a.m. CST

    People who don't like EFNY need to gtfo this site.

    by Waka_Flocka

  • April 12, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST


    by robrob

    What The Kidd needs to do is learn about moderation. 50+ percent of the front page posts tend to be from "The Infamous Billy the Kidd!" these days. Nordling had the same problem when he first started up but he's toned it down lately. But hey, who am I? Maybe Billy's just really trying to earn the "Infamous" title. In which case - Well done, sir.

  • April 12, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    I knew it!

    by the new transported man

    All these sites were all over this movie's jock but it looked dreadful, a stupid & cheap "action" movie. I guess people just wanna get behind Guy Pearce. Who can blame them?

  • April 12, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    I liked it

    by Jarek

    It's a 'leave your brain at the door' type of flick, and it has some problems in the last act, but it's solid fun throughout.

  • April 12, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Anyone whos seen the trailer for this KNOWS it is pure shit...

    by LargoJr

    and anyone actually PAYING to see this film deserves to be beaten with a vegetable oil soaked nerf bat until they forget how to shit...

  • April 12, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    escape from new york

    by skelly

    Was filmed in my hometown of St. Louis. My dad told me and my sister that a plane had crashed by his work near downtown and drove us by the set of the wreckage. As a ten yr old I fell for it. He let us believe it to be true for the rest of the day.

  • April 12, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    If you aren't jonesin' to see this...

    by Harry Palmerlime

    ... there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with your tongue, as it does not seem to be placed firmly in your cheek. I think your geek card needs to be revoked. As far as the lack of action... all the running around, explosions, gunfire, fights and stunts in the trailer... that doesn't count as action?

  • April 12, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Escape from NY is a classic - rationale?

    by angry kitty

    Ernest Borgnine

  • April 12, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    How about...

    by Tardu

    ...the "special" effects in Escape from LA.. good God..

  • April 12, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Don't listen to "The Kidd"

    by slone13

    The movie IS dumb fun. A lot, actually. I do wish they had kept the R RATING, HOWEVER.

  • April 12, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST


    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    Escape From New York was, and remains, completely ICONIC. Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Isaac Hayes, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasance, Harry Dean Stanton.. well and of course Adrienne Barbeau (but no movie is TOTALLY perfect, right?).. all just having FUN man.. This movie was a Pure 80's as it can get, but in a really good way. I may drop a Saturday matinee ticket-price to see this one, as I would really like to see Pearce enter that top-shelf movie star club, but I don't know if this is going o be the movie to do it for him...

  • April 12, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Escape from New York was not bloodless. It was brilliant though.

    by Cureguy

    Pilot with throat cut at the beginning. Check. Human head on a stake. Check. Snake shoots off attackers hand. Check. Snake shoots an arrow in a guys head. Check. Adrienne Barbeau getting run over by Cadillac and ending up in a pool of blood. Check. Donald Pleasance going absolutely insane with a machine gun and shooting Isaac Hayes. Check. You fuckers don't even know what you are criticizing. You all get an F in film history class.

  • April 12, 2012, 9:36 a.m. CST

    You know you're in bad shape...FACT!!!!!

    by Brian

    ...when you just got..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............coxxed!!!!!!!

  • April 12, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Escape from New York

    by yourebreakingthejacket

    The theme for Escape From New York is one of my favorites ever. I think it is kind of epic. I like it better than Halloween. However, I am in the group that believes the idea for EFNY is way more brilliant than how it was handled. It has its moments--Russell is great and has some great lines and the glider landing on the top of one of the twin towers is cool. I feel the rest is just decent and I don't get its masterpiece status.

  • April 12, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Was gonna see both this and Cabin in the Woods this weekend...

    by AlienFanatic

    but I guess it's gonna be Cabin or bust. Oh well.

  • April 12, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Holy shit, EFNY Sucks?

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    I’m going to chock some of this up to today’s younger generation being trained (via the Internet) to crap all over anything because it makes you feel superior and/or relevant (while at the same time having your brains rotted away thinking TWILIGHT and TRANSFORMERS are good movies). Go back and actually take a close look at what Carpenter accomplished with a 6M budget (and no CGI) - an amazing amount of atmosphere for the New York scenes, . Russell’s performance as Snake is fantastic, as a great understated, antihero. Good supporting performances as well, and the fact that everybody is playing things straight (and can actually pull it off) just adds to the tension / intensity of the film. Some great memorable scenes: the glider landing, Snake fleeing from the cannibals, the drive down Broadway, Snake’s fight in the area and the final bridge crossing – any one of those scenes stands the test of time as quality filmmaking. If you can’t appreciate the great storytelling and atmosphere, just look at the ingenuity Carpenter used when he made the film – the computer graphics sequence was filmed using a camera and reflective tape on a physical model of New York – that’s going the extra mile to produce something great. And finally, you have Adrienne Barbeau’s breasts and Lee Van Cleef (Van Cleef was in a few movies in the 60’s directed by a guy named Sergio Leone – you dipshits probably know them as “those old, boring westerns.”) I weep for the future. Now, get back to finish watching a movie on your phone, you fucknuts.

  • April 12, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST

    naw EFNY just doesn't hold up

    by Spandau Belly

    I watched it as a kid and liked it then. I remembered it being one of those violent trashy 80s movies, but then I watched it again last year and was just kinda bored by how tame it was. cureguy has done a pretty good job detailing the five seconds of violence in the movie. It was hard to believe how tame it was coming out in the same era as stuff like First Blood, Scarface, Robocop, Terminator, Die Hard etc. The level of violence was probably lower than you'd see if you went with your kids to see Hunger Games. And it's not that I demand all movies be violent, but stuff like this is born to be that way. The whole concept and premise are great. The social satire doesn't really hold up because New York as a city has changed so much. Carpenter does a good job creating atmosphere, especially with such a low budget. Kurt is great as Snake, but the rest of the cast is prettymuch getting a paycheck. Lee Van Cleef and HD Stanton mostly seem like you got them on the sleepy end of a bender. So yes, it is an iconic movie and was a really great original idea with an awesome lead character and well executed atmosphere, but don't go telling me about all the "fun" and "blood" up on the screen because it just ain't there. And don't tell me the concept couldn't be executed better because it can. I'm saying Lockout does it better, because I haven't seen Lockout yet, but I do think a better version of EFNY is more than achieveable.

  • April 12, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Yes, what EFNY really needed was some gratuitous violence

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    It's the same reason HALLOWEEN sucks....and HOSTEL RuLz!!!! *sigh*

  • April 12, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by Jarek

    Don't base your decision on one review. You're a person not a sheep.

  • April 12, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    The Kidd hates another movie...

    by TheMovieLover

    ... what a shocker.

  • Lockout, Raid: Redemption and Cabin in the Woods: should be a good week for movies.

  • April 12, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Escape From Earth

    by yoyoballz

    Carpenter always said if he completed the Plisskin trilogy it would take place off of Earth. Looks like someone stole that idea and frankensteined it without Snake's soul and JC vision. Snake Plisskin FOREVER!

  • April 12, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    I always thought EFNY sucked

    by gooseud

    When Snake put a baseball bat with a rusty nail through the back of Ox Baker's skull, I thought to myself "You know what this movie needs? Some Eli Roth style ultraviolence, THEN it would actually be good!"......oh wait, actually I didn't think that because that would be FUCKING RETARDED!!!! They made a movie that more closely resembles what you tbers are describing, it wad called Escape from LA, and it sucked the sweat off a dead mans balls. Just stop talking before you people expose your retardation even further.

  • April 12, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by Garbageman33

    The licky boom boom rapper from Canada?

  • April 12, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    What a Shame - I was hoping this would be good

    by D o o d

    but all the signs were there in the trailers!

  • April 12, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Now, Escape From L.A? That did suck

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    I just like to pretend it never happened.

  • Hold on! Kidd mentioned a movie he liked? Escape From New York? Fuck that overrated movie!

  • April 12, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Why are you surprised Kidd hates the movies?

    by Alan Boxberger

    He's obviously asked to sit through the crap films as they're coming out so that the more experienced people don't have to deal with it. Having said that, can anyone here truly say that any film released in the past few years has been original and inspiring? Films are generally either a direct remake or a riff off an old concept. I watch a lot of movies and I can probably count on two hands the films that have truly made an impact on me over the past decade.

  • If "Escape from L.A." hadn't tanked at the box-office, John Carpenter wanted to make "Escape from Earth." That box-office disaster also resulted in the cancellation of the Snake Plisken video game during production as well as the cancellation of plans for a Snake Plissken anime film and the quick end to the Snake Plissken comic book. The only snakes in this production are the screen writers who obviously lifted Carpenter's idea wholesale and made the movie. Their just reward will likely be another box-office dud. It's funny that the producers are ADMITTING that they stole the idea. but they're saying that it's "Taken" in space! I suppose young film goers probably haven't even heard of "Escape from New York"!

  • April 12, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    I will NOT abide any bashing of EFNY!

    by captaincosmos

    "Escape From New York" "The Thing" "Big Trouble in Little China" The Holy Fucking Trinity of Carpenter/Russell. I'm guessing most of these punks dissing EFNY are in the 20's and it seems dated in their eyes. (the guy who mentioned it needing a little "Eli Roth ultraviolence, for example -- Whatta fuckin' tool.) That's their opinion. But they're wrong. Dead wrong, if I ever meet 'em face to face.

  • April 12, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    You are earning my respect kidd

    by Jaster Mareel

    I was skeptical about someone new coming aboard, but you are earning your keep.

  • It is all about the crazy idea of New York as a maximum security prison, and Snake Plissken's cool swagger and John Carpenters minimalist synthesizer score. There are some good one-liners and the epic poetic justice of the climax with Donald Sutherland, *I'm the Duke of New York! A-number one!!!* Then he goes back to being calm and collected for his speech at the end. It is a defining film of the 80's style of genre film aesthetics. It is a classy B-movie that marches to its own beat. It is good. You don't have to like it, but at least recognize and respect EFNY.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Escape From Earth would be cool to see

    by lv_426

    Kurt Russell is older but I think he could still pull off another great performance as Snake. I always wanted to see a two-film sequel, Escape From America, which would be sort of a road movie, then it would lead to Escape From Earth. They could still do something with the Escape From films. Either Kurt Russell as an older Plisken, or get someone new to play Plisken, maybe some dude steals his identity and masquerades as Snake Plisken. He is a legendary character, as everyone in the films knows of his exploits. That would be a fun way to play with the notion of Snake Plisken as sort of this figure of legend, whose stories are spread through a fucked up dystopic USA of the near future. That would be one way to do it, if Russell doesn't want to come back. It would also be better than doing a straight up remake of EFNY. I don't know about you folks, but I am burned out on all the remakes and reboots. At this point, I have no interest in seeing a classic like EFNY being redone with CGI and shaky-cam.

  • What the fucking horse cock!?!?!

  • April 12, 2012, 3:12 p.m. CST


    by RowKseat25

    no one has heard of Fortress? Or 2000AD's Harry Twenty on High Rock? Pitiful. High Rock Rocked... it was Escape From Alcatraz set in space... this movie looks dire.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST

    No idea what High Rock is, and I used to read 2000AD

    by Jaster Mareel

    I obviously know what Fortress is with Christopher Lambert and Jeffrey Combs. It was directed by Madison's own Stuart Gordon for fucks' sake. great little flick although the sequel was pretty crappy.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    I remember reading about Fortress in Fangoria

    by lv_426

    There was an interview with Stuart Gordon and he stated that Fortress was originally written as an Arnold Schwartzenegger A-budget studio flick. Arnie turned it down so it found a second life as a B-movie with Christopher Lambert. It was a fun flick, but I always wondered what a big budget Ahnuld version of Fortress would have been like. Now, I may be against a remake of a classic like EFNY, but one of Fortress could be fun. I'd love to see a director like Neal Marshall make it. He'd be perfect as he can do pretty damn good R-rated genre flicks on a low to mid sized budget.

  • Robot Jox would also be one I wouldn't mind seeing updated, as long as they still used miniatures for a good portion of the effects. Maybe get WETA do make some bigatures of the mechs. That'd be fun.

  • April 12, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST


    by RowKseat25

    from 200O onwards? it was before your time!?

  • April 12, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST


    by RowKseat25

    even before The Rock... but it seems everyone on here had their first Superman movie experience with Superman Returns

  • April 12, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Escape From New York hasn't aged well

    by SgtSharki

    While Snake will always be cool and the look and feel of the film still holds up the action sequences don't. They're frustratingly lifeless. The film is also not paced well. It's worth seeing, but let's not go nuts praising it when Carpenter has done much better work.

  • April 13, 2012, 2:33 a.m. CST

    So now we're hating on EFNY?

    by Stalkeye

    You dweebs should just turn in your Geek card and watch drivel like Hunger Games and Twilight.

  • April 13, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    lv_426, It's Donald Pleasence not Sutherland.

    by Stalkeye

    Aside from that, good post.

  • Indeed. And the point is, it wasn't trying to be. Snake Plissken is on a **covert mission** into an incredibly hostile environment where, if you come to the attention of the locals, you'll be fucked, killed, then roasted on a barbecue. He isn't supposed to be shooting the crap out of people and blowing shit up, he's in a 'Splinter Cell' stealth situation.

  • April 13, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Harry Twenty on High Rock!

    by buggerbugger

    Fuck, that takes me back. That was a classic series.

  • April 13, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Harry Twenty on the High Rock, even

    by buggerbugger

    That's what I get for cut 'n' paste laziness.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    it was brainless fun. guy pearce makes a fantastic bad/smart ass

    by antonphd