Lockout : A movie out of time.

Recently, I caught Lockout (2012) with Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace streaming on Netflix. I remember wanting to see it when I saw the trailers, but was too busy when it came out in theaters last spring. The basic premise appealed to my fascination with prison planets–this one is a prison in low earth orbit, but it was close enough to appeal. When it first showed up Netflix I tried to watch it and was so disappointed by the first five minutes that I turned it off. This time I made myself give it ten minutes. By the ten minute mark I was much more entertained.

Disappointing CGI
The  CGI in the big action scene in the beginning is really NOT good. It has a low budget video game feel. If you can get past that, and the fact that the kick-off to the disaster is roll-your-eye-stupid, the story and the style are reminiscent of the blockbuster action flicks of the late 1980s – early 1990s. They were brilliant for the time, but I’m not sure why this modern incarnation went back to that style. As a fan of those old blockbusters, I was eventually able to enjoy this movie as a good popcorn flick, but I can see why more modern audiences didn’t lap it up.

The Strong Women of the 80s Have Gone to Cliché
Like those beloved movies like, Die Hard, Commando, Demolition Man and Hard Target; it featured a rugged ‘good’ soldier in trouble and a beautiful female sidekick who starts out in a business suit and ends up toting guns like a professional. In the 80s that was progressive but it seems a bit cliché now. Still, those were the movies that fired my imagination and fed my need for strong female characters in a time where they were in short supply. I’m glad I didn’t spend the money on seeing this movie in the theater, but it was a nice watch for a lazy weekend morning.