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Capone wishes he had been locked out of LOCKOUT!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

There's dumb fun, and then there's just plain-old fucking dumb. Not a whole lot shocks me in this world, but people defending LOCKOUT is a shocking concept to me at this moment. Yes, there are actually people talking up LOCKOUT as great escapist fun. And I suppose if you trend toward enjoying an incomprehensible, non-sensical futuristic story about an ex-government agent (Guy Pearce) sent on a redemptive mission to rescue the president's daughter (Maggie Grace) from a maximum security prison in outer space. I won't lie: I actually love this premise, and I'm a huge Guy Pearce fan. Hell, I even tend to like many of the works that stem from the pen or production company (in this case, both) of co-writer/producer Luc Besson. But LOCKOUT isn't even trying.

But the writing here is so obvious and terrible, I found myself looking for distractions during the movie. What passes for dialogue is just a) '80s-style wisecracks and one liners from Pearce or b) overwritten bad-guy threats and exposition from the villains. None of it amounts to an actual compelling story, and it made me want to punch my own face to make the experience in any way interesting... or to know that I was still alive. Directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger do what they can with this material, and I suppose there is a definite visual spark to LOCKOUT, but there are also a couple of action sequences that are so blindingly fast and disorienting that I completely lost track of who was fucking up whose shit. The motor-unicycle chase alone is so clearly all sped-up special effects that you won't be able to do anything but laugh.

I haven't even mentioned the villains of LOCKOUT, and that's because they aren't worth mentioning. How many tattoos and piercings can one dude fit on this body to use as shorthand for being a badass? Go see LOCKOUT to find the answer. Or not. I'm actually annoying myself right now writing this review, because drawing any attention to this movie seems like the wrong move. It pained me to watch Pearce, a truly great actor, waste his time in this dreck. And I get it, sometimes jumping into the Besson production camp pays off handsomely, as it did with TAKEN or the TRANSPORTER movies. But people forget that movies like COLUMBIANA or this movie are the price we must pay. I'm here to help you dodge this bullet. You don't have to thank me; just stay safe and stay away from LOCKOUT.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • April 14, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST


    by FreeBeer

  • April 14, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by harrys_site_sucks

    and last

  • April 14, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Boobs was first

    by FreeBeer

  • April 14, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    wait, COLOMBIANA is a horrible "price" we must pay?

    by Spandau Belly

    I'd put it on the same level of average as TAKEN. I watched it, I was entertained, I forgot it almost instantly; if I had to watch it again, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    So you're saying this aint no FORTRESS 2

    by Mace Tofu

    and Guy aint no Christopher Lambert. Sometimes you need to pour some extra cheese on your film to make it go down smoothly.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    So you're saying it's good?

    by Meta

    Nothing about this film seemed likeable to me from the commercials. And I dug both Fortress films and Escape from NY (LA was so-so). This sounds like Guy Pearce wanted to get in on some of that Liam Neeson Kick-assery.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    People laughed at the trailer when I was in the theatre

    by torontoxic

    as soon as they said 'he's a loose cannon' the chuckling started. <P> Too bad. I was hoping this would be cool.

  • April 14, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Guy Pearce deserves better than this

    by HamburgerEarmuffs

    And why doesnt Besson direct anymore?

  • April 14, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Poor Guy Pearce.

    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • April 14, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Guy Pearce does deserve better. A pity.

    by Raptor Jesus

    Guess I'll go watch 'L.A. Confidential' again.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Eli Dingle is the bad guy?

    by alan_poon

    Wait til Zach finds out.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Lockout is fun enough while you watch it.

    by antonphd

    It wasn't a good movie, but it was good enough. I liked watching Guy Pearce play action hero. It had is groan worthy moments, but nothing worse then you find in any other B action movie. Sometimes it is fun to watch stupid B action movies. I saw it with my older brother and it was like watching those stupid 80s action movies we grew up on. Now I am going to watch Raid this afternoon and enjoy what you all say is one of the best action movies ever. It's okay to enjoy both movies. I mean, it's not like Lockout is Wrath of the Titans bad.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Too bad

    by dukeroberts

    I've been looking forward to seeing it.

  • I don't know why but I wanted to see it. I thought it'll be entertaining mindless action. As Capone said it had a good premise but it was terribly wasted and the stupid as shit prisoners didn't help one bit. Pierce is a good actor who just never seem to make it to Alist but he works consistent enough. Never seen him do a comedic type role but he pulled it off along with him as a believable action star. Sadly this silly script just wasted a good premise. I rarly dogg out a film but this is a waste of time and cash.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    No worse than any other B action movie

    by Elcabio

    Lockout was even less stupid than Escape From New York. EFNY's only grace is that I was a kid when I saw it and didn't have all these "critics" on the internet screaming how much of a stupid piece of shit movie it really was. I laughed from beginning to end with Lockout, but I would agree (as would anyone else with 2 eyes) that the fx in the unicycle chase was cartoony shit. The outerspace scenes were fun. You can keep your J Crew villains then Capone, I prefer mine to look like inked up, piercing fetish, inbreds... with accents.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Fuck, and Guy Pearce is so good too. Pity.

    by Roger Moon

  • April 14, 2012, 6:01 p.m. CST's FAN-TASTIC!

    by Apocalypse_Pooh

    "But LOCKOUT isn't even trying. But the writing here is so obvious and terrible, I found myself looking for distractions during the movie." C'mon, Capone. That's beneath some Freshman High School English students.

  • April 14, 2012, 6:04 p.m. CST


    by Fritzlorrerains

  • ... till the forget how to shit. The trailers show you just how truly AWFUL this film is. You simply can't excuse such terrible dialogue. The only film I have ever seen that could... was 'Last Action Hero', because it was making fun of itself AND the genre as a whole. This film is just fucking terrible.

  • This movie was a game changer for the industry. If you can't see that, or don't understand WHY, then I truly feel sorry for you. My only suggestion I can offer is to watch it with the fantastic Russel/Carpenter commentary. The movie simply OOZES cool. Granted, in this day & age of overwhelming (and overused) CGI & green-screen, the effects haven't aged as well as some films. Doesn't change the fact that there is more depth and character in 5 minutes of that film then the collective entirety of any dozen you could pick made in the last 15 years. So please.. go fuck yourself

  • April 14, 2012, 7:58 p.m. CST

    escape from new york a game changer for the industry?

    by Bouncy X

    its a little flop of a movie that became a cult classic (meaning very few appreciate and/or like it), the industry didnt even notice it then or remember it exists now. that's a major problem with the internet, many people who are part of a minority think what they believe is a widespread opinion because its easy to find others who think the same. the star wars prequels being the prime example. if as many people hated those movies even half as much as the internet fanboys feel or believe, they wouldnt have made the kinda money they had. of course if comic book guy has any grain of truth to him, even the ones who hated it saw it 10 times in theaters so maybe both sides are right. :P but yeah seriously people....its okay if someone has a different and even negative opinion of something you hold dear. it wont change what you think or believe of it. i'll never get seeing people turn all insulting and defensive when a movie they like isnt liked by another or worse.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    How can you suppose there is a definite visual spark?

    by I am_NOTREAL

    You either suppose there is a visual spark, or there is a definite visual spark. C'mon. Talk about not trying.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Taken 2 Space

    by BandysTract

  • April 15, 2012, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Cabin in the Woods is just plain-old fucking dumb

    by future help

    for real

  • April 15, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Not surprising really...


    It seems these days any hack can make a slick looking short film packed with CGI and get given the reins to a big time motion picture.

  • April 15, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Columbiana was the reason I stopped illegally downloading movies.

    by UltraTron

  • Had maybe two good chuckles (first two minutes, and last two minutes of the movie) but the rest was average at best. Not the disaster that this review is making it out to be. I've seen much worse recommended by the AICN crew.

  • April 15, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Columbiana was the worst film I've seen this year.

    by Kizeesh


  • April 15, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Colombiana was retarded....

    by LargoJr

    She's mildly cute, but at 98lbs soaking wet... yeah, whatever. And don't give me that 'small people can be blah blah blah... no muscle tone, means no stamina or strength. Oh, and the pool with the shark scene? Yeah,.. that wasn't LOL worthy. The whole movie was watchable, but otherwise desperately forgettable, and utterly stupid.

  • April 16, 2012, 5:48 a.m. CST

    I smell BULLSHIT...

    by Ryan

    What's not to love about this flick? I was sold on the first trailer. Did Harry and company NOT get an invite to the set or something?

  • April 16, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Escape From New Yor: IN SPAAAAAAAAACE!

    by Mikey Wood

    For some reason I thought this was directed by Besson. If that were the case I would've watched it for that reason alone. Buuuuuut it's not so now I really don't care. The trailer looked like big dumb fun but without Besson, it's a rental. ALSO: Since COLUMBIANA is being tossed abouot: Never saw it but the trailers looked like they made a film adaptation of ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN

  • Looks like it'll slot nicely next to ANACONDA in the B movie fun annals… Surprised at the hate spewing from this site of all places onto it - just can't believe it's THAT bad. Not compared to the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake which got a fucking rave here.

  • April 16, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Lockout is this....

    by Arn0Sarchon

  • I second that sentiment.

  • April 16, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    It's fun.

    by MoistMuskyCamelToe

    Not great cinema by any means, but I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than the Hunger Games. Lockout is passable fair that suffers more from a lack of a hard R rating than anything else. Honestly it has more of a Die Hard vibe than EFNY. The main villain(s) are fantastic, Guy is great, and their is some attempt to reconcile the stupidity of putting a prison in space. Main chick is a complete dud but she has nothing to work with. Besson is guilty of fiddling with some cinematic effects and cuts that either work well or don't work at all. Not sure what Capone was expecting, but it's a fun, fine popcorn movie.

  • April 16, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    RE:Guy Pearce does deserve better. A pity

    by Robert

    There's this little film called "Prometheus" coming soon... maybe you've heard of it?

  • April 18, 2012, 4:27 a.m. CST

    I will eat crow pie now...

    by Ryan

    Finally saw the flick. Capone, I apologize because you're right in so many ways. My own review is now up at the Batcave:

  • April 18, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    batstud2: Please learn how to proof read your posts/reviews

    by LargoJr

    ... it's all in the details. You KNOW why we rage on Harry for his 2nd grade level writing style.. please don't perpetuate. In any case, thanks for the effort