Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Vincent Regan, Joseph Gilgun
Directed by: James Mather, Steven St. Leger
Written by: James Mather, Steven St. Leger
Studio: Sony Entertainment
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 17, 2012
HTS Overall Score:80
In 2079, Ex-CIA agent, Snow (Pearce) is working outside of the agency in attempting to find a source trading internal secrets on the black market. Snow finds himself caught in a torrent that ultimately leads to him being framed for the murder of his mentor Frank Armstrong. After attempting to flee from the crime scene with critical information contained in a briefcase that his mentor was holding, Snow is able to pass over the briefcase to his partner, Mace. Immediately after switching possession Snow is captured by the CIA and is questioned on his motives behind killing Frank. Unwilling to give information during his interrogation force the agency to bypass the judicial system and send Snow directly to his sentence of thirty years on a test-prison system floating in space called, MS-One. MS-One is the highest security prison that is available and is supposed to be the safest because the inmates are put in stasis, or frozen.
Meanwhile, Emilie Wornock (Grace), the daughter of the President of the United States, is taking a research study trip to MS-One to find out just what is going on at that facility. Emilie suspects that the stasis that the inmates are put into have massive side effects and wants to find out first hand. As she arrives on MS-One, one of the inmates, Hydell (Gilgun), is awoken in order for Emilie to interview a subject. Briefly after the interview starts, Hydell antagonizes one of Emilie's bodyguards and takes his ankle pistol. Hydell escapes and makes his way to the main control deck of MS-One where he destroys the controls and awakens the 500 convicts aboard MS-One. The President quickly gets word his daughter is one of the captives and is given the only real option of sending the sentenced Ex-CIA agent, Snow, who is already on his way to the facility, to rescue his daughter.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=9001[/img]'Lockout' intrigued me in theaters, but I had heard a lot bad reviews and decided to pass on it. Now that it had been released on video, I decided to give it a try. To say, 'Lockout' is unbelievable, would be an understatement, but... and I say this with great reservation, I found myself immersed in this film despite its many flaws. 'Lockout' is a bit of a conundrum to me -- on one hand, it purposefully does not take itself seriously, and on the other, it manages to be a serious action film. I attribute this to the dialog and tension built between the characters and the actors chosen do a fine job with it.
Theatrically Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and language including some sexual references.
The vast majority of this film takes place in darkened, dreary corridors and the emphasis on requiring rich blacks to support it only goes without saying. Thankfully, black level and depth are every bit a compliment to this stylized film. 'Lockout' does not boast the most beautiful of sequences, however the transfer leaves little to be desired. From the opening sequence where the audience sees a face close up shot of Pearce's character, we are teased with an image that is highly detailed and very pleasing. The good news is the detail level never lets up. It is hard to appreciate it all the time as some scenes are moving so fast with the action that you don't get to appreciate the attention to detail that was spent on creating the world of 'Lockout'. I will say this, and not at the fault of the video transfer, but the filmmakers, there is one particular sequence that the CGI stands out and looks near-cartoony. It was a little bit distracting, but again, this is not a fault of the video transfer itself. Overall, the video transfer will surely satisfy those viewing this film on blu-ray.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio for this film is also just as pleasant as the video transfer on this disc. From the get-go we are treated with dynamics that are top-notch. Dialog remains clear and while one may not think that this is important, the comments back and forth, especially between Snow and Emilie only add to the overall entertainment factor of this film. Action sequences in a futuristic film, almost goes without saying, is an aural experience that will satisfy any home theater enthusiasts. Fire fights, space fighting, hand-to-hand combat all are properly balanced and give plenty of workout for your surround sound system. Surround cues of bullets firing and ricocheting are natural sounding as well as ambient noises. A special note on the ambient noises, I found them even more noticeable and pleasing for this film than I usually do; not overly done, but corridor echoes and spatial cues were more satisfying on this mix than many other sequences. Also, what is a good action movie without a good amount of weight behind it? Explosions are plentiful in this film and gunfire as well, so expect your subwoofers to work hard on this movie. The bass-heads can rejoice with this sound mix.
• 'Breaking Into 'Lockout" - Featurette
• 'A Vision of the Future' - Featurette
• Previews of various Sony titles
'Lockout' may just be my latest guilty pleasure film. It is not a good film, but I found myself highly entertained and, even now, wanting to watch it again. The casting seems pretty well done. I am a fan of Guy Pearce's work, but I was very, very skeptical of Maggie Grace in this film. Maggie did a good job in 'Taken', but I still had a hard time shrugging off that whiny no-good character she played in the ABC show 'Lost'. The main antagonists of the film are reservedly menacing, which makes them believable convicts. Dialog and banter back and forth between all the characters kept me entertained in slower parts of this film. With a great video transfer, an audio mix that is superb, all signs point this release to an easy recommendation; however, I will say that this as a warning -- Do not go into this expecting to take it seriously because even this film itself doesn't really take itself seriously. If you do this, I think you will actually enjoy it.
Recommendation: Watch It!
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring