Monday, July 15, 2013

Day One Hundred and Ninety-six - Lockout, "All the right angles and pacing and quips, but none of the panache."

You know, I like Lockout... I really do, but it never manages to become great.

Don't get me wrong, Guy Pearce, Peter Stormare, and Lennie James are hella fun as future-cynical and arrogant spy types trying to save the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) from a prisoner takeover of SuperMax-in-the-Sky (who, honestly, thought that was a good idea?)... particularly Guy Pearce.

The movie very much rides on his machine-gun wit and sardonic sense of humor to carry it through what is a very rote movie making excursion.

I mean, hostages... in SPACE?

Luc, you've already done this once in The Fifth Element and this, sadly, comes nowhere close to the campy, stylistic goodness that was Bruce Willis fighting Planet EvilTM, mostly because it drops all the campy, stylistic goodness.

That's not to say that Besson's signature camera style isn't there. There's a lot in the way of angles, trucks, and blocking that immediately reminded me of his previous scifi efforts, it's just that the soul really isn't there.

There's just no heart to the film.

Maggie is fine as a damsel in distress, but there's really not much in the way of chemistry with Pearce, such that I couldn't get behind her decision to remain on board when he shoves her into the only (single-seat) escape pod on the station... let alone the romance angle they were trying to push in the denouement.

At best, I would've accepted a platonic partnership between the two, a la Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby in Dredd last year, but, blasphemy that it is, you don't need to force a hookup that doesn't feel right... especially when there are no obvious sparks between the leads, either in the script or purely through body language.

I do, however, think that Joseph Gilgun did a tremendous job as the psychopathic Hydell. I was utterly sold on his kooky misanthropy, a trait that was only really okay from his villainous co-star, Vincent Regan.

If you're looking for an action flick with passable set-pieces and witty repartee, but aren't worried about it being too deep or internally consistent, Lockout is a pretty fair example. Very fun for what it is, but not exactly a shining moment for Besson as a creator... and certainly no Fifth Element or Leon.

At the very least, it's a much better film than last night's entry, The Expendables 2. In comparison, Lockout is solid gold.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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