Monday, 7 May 2012

Film Review - Lockout

A secret agent, Agent Snow, has been framed. Emilie Warnock, the president's daughter, goes to a space station that is being used as a prison, in order to investigate their rather unusual way of keeping the prisoners in order. Locked in an artificial sleep, or "stasis". Emilie wants to investigate the psychological side effects of stasis, but her appearance prompts a breakout by the prisoners. Sent in to rescue the kidnapped president's daughter, Snow is given the chance to clear his name.

Not only is this film fairly heavily edited for violence, I got the feeling that it was sped up too. Maybe it was just the overdubbing from French to English that created this effect, but it seemed like a lot of the scenes have a dramatic flow and the right dramatic beats. They just came too quickly. There's a lot of cheeky energy to the film, however, and there's a childish wit that keeps entertained whilst the movie fails to find any decent pace.

The wit, really, is rather unusual. Both the comedic styling and plot fall under this barrier. Relatively recently a film called In Time came along and tried to pander to Hollywood action cliches without really understanding them - Lockout is relatively similar in this respect. The real difference is that whilst In Time did not seem to really put any stock in the cliches, throwing them in almost off-handedly, Lockout misses the target in a really strange way and hits a strangely ironic button. Characters talk strangely, strange colloquialisms being slipped in at really inappropriate times, possibly just to keep it from being obvious that the film is dubbed.

As Snow fights the evil space Glasweigans - yes, they're all Weegies - it's best to go with the flow. Plot holes abounds, cliches revelled in - the whole thing has about as much depth a paddling pool. If you are determined to have a film that is sturdily plotted and unpredictable, then it will inevitably fall flat. Characters exist only to say funny things, be evil or be saved. Nonetheless, the B-movie feel and weird tone of the movie, I feel, make these complaints rather pedantic. Sit down and go with it. It's a crazy fun time.

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