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Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Published April 12 2012

Review: Guy Pearce serves up punches and punchlines in ‘Lockout’

‘LOCKOUT’

West Acres 14

MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and language including some sexual references

95 minutes

2 stars out of four


Guy Pearce goes into low-Earth orbit to get his cool back in “Lockout,” a silly sci-fi B-picture made fun by his star turn.

It’s “Escape from New York” in space, with Pearce channeling Kurt Russell’s brawny bravado as Snow, a disgraced CIA agent sent to rescue the president’s daughter from convicts on the M.S. One space prison.

Pearce is as frosty as a meat locker, from the film’s first moments – a brutal interrogation in which Snow answers every body blow with a one-liner.

But there’s a way out of this. Go fetch the president’s do-gooder daughter (Maggie Grace), whose prison investigation visit coincided with a prison riot on Maximum Security One. Five hundred murderers and rapists, led by a couple of Scots (Vincent Regan and Joseph Gilgun), are out of “stasis” (deep freeze) and holding her as their insurance. Snow is shot into space and talked-through a space walk and break-in that will lead him to the girl.

The bad guys are generic psychopaths, the situations far-fetched and the science silly. The effects, especially those on Earth, are plainly animated and rough around the edges. The action onboard the station has Snow defying the laws of physics at every turn and delivering a script full of one-liners that fly by, even in zero G.

“Shhhhhhh.”

“What, did you hear something?”

“Noooo. I’m just enjoying the silence.”