LOCKOUT, the latest Luc Besson-produced generic action movie, is a valiant attempt to create a 90-minute version of that Dr. Pepper 10 commercial. ("Hey, ladies, enjoying the movie? Of course you're not. Catchphrase! Now stay away from my manly diet drink or I'll punch you in the mouth!") Sure, it's a ripoff of lots of other movies too—I'd call it Escape from New York set in the cryo-prison from Demolition Man starring Guy Pearce as Bruce Willis' character from The Last Boy Scout—but any one of them gets the point across. Probably the funniest part was the "Based on an original idea by..." line during the credits.
A brief synopsis:
AGENT PETER STORMARE: Tell me whad happened in dat motail room!
GUY PEARCE TIED TO A CHAIR: (blowing smoke in his face) I banged your mom and then I smoked some cigarettes.
(Agent Peter Stormare punches Guy Pearce Tied to a Chair in the face.)
STORMARE: Don't maig me ask again, Meestair Co-median!
PEARCE: (nonchalantly putting new cigarette in mouth) Okay, okay, it was actually your sister, but the cigarette part is true... because I was worn out from how hard I was banging her!
(Another punch to the face.)
PEARCE: (now with broken cigarette) I guess that's why they call it a PUNCH line.
I exaggerate only slightly. Guy Pearce, the bright spot, is actually fantastic in the role of Every Action Movie Hero Ever. As good as Bruce Willis, easily. THEY TELL ME YOU'RE THE BEST, BUT YOU'RE A LOOSE CANNON, SNOW! I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN FALSELY ACCUSED OF A CRIME BUT YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BREAK THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER OUT OF THIS SPACE CRYO-PRISON!
That's the actual plot, by the way. (When the president says, "Oh, and Snow? They've got my daughter," the screening audience roared with laughter.) Meanwhile, the bad guys are two Scottish brothers, but the twist is, they BOTH have scars over their eyes. Ballsy move.
For about 35 minutes, I thought Lockout might be the dumb-fun action movie people tried to convince me Taken was. But it breaks rule one of stupid, simple action movies: Keep it simple, stupid. I want to laugh at Guy Pearce chewing scenery, not keep track of 12 different MacGuffins. First it's a guy, then it's a briefcase, then it's a microchip—STOP IT, NO ONE CARES! Dumb movies are to be laughed at, not confused by. Now I feel like the dumb one. I still don't know what the exterior of the space prison looks like. I think they kept trying out different shapes.
And as for the love interest, Maggie Grace who managed to be almost as obnoxious as she was on Lost, perhaps the best criticism is the truest: As soon as I got home, I Wikipedia'd her to see if she was banging Luc Besson. How else to explain her getting these roles? She's like a female Josh Lucas.