Lockout is Die Hard Meets My Date With The President’s Daughter.
I was really hyped for Lockout,the new Guy Pearce flick in space. I’d hoped for a while he’d go there. Often nowadays the trailer of a movie is better than the movie itself. I really liked what I saw of Lockout in the teaser, where we see Guy being a non-cooperative, wise-cracking badass in an interrogation room, all the while being punched in the face. It seemed like we would get Snake Pliskin in space. Then I saw a trailer on TV recently that gave me pause. They billed Lockout as “Die Hard meets Blade Runner.” Uh-oh. As a general rule I recommend that people never bill anything in science fiction as Blade Runner-esque. You are setting yourself up for failure. As Eeon and I will talk about in a future podcast and for anyone who’s seen Dangerous Days, Blade Runner was an absolute disaster of a movie that somehow got made despite it’s creators not knowing what it was about. They in fact competed in post-production to make it about something so it would sell. Now I love Blade Runner, but the implied connotation that because something is dark it is like Blade Runner is faulty, especially in the case of Lockout. Because if anything, this movie is a light-hearted romp akin to the 1998 classic made for tv movie My Date With The President’s Daughter, starring Will Friedle of Boy Meets World fame.
First of all M.D.W.T.P.D was an awesome movie, with an awesome theme song by the Presidents of The United States of America. I can’t believe that they didn’t save it for an album. It’s right up there with “Volcano” for me. Check this plot: Duncan Fletcher needs a date for the dance. He goes to the mall and meets a chick. She gives him her address. He’s a little shocked when he finds out that 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the White House. So they go to a movie, make out and ditch the Secret Service. They spend the rest of the night cruising in Duncan’s dad’s M5 while blowing up his pop’s credit card. Now you and I would have been blasted to the Lockout prison in space if we attempted this as teenagers. But this dude gets presidential authority to mack on the first daughter and his dad gets a promotion at work. So no one cares if the credit card is maxed and the M5 is rolled up into a ball of metal.
Will Friedle portrayed a true hero for us all to emulate. It was a real portrayal of the American Dream. Guy Pearce’s character Snow on the other hand had to work real hard in Lockout. Too hard. He gave the President’s daughter a haircut and dyed her hair. Then he had to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Let me tell you, his skin has more heat resistance than a Mercury space capsule. I understand that it’s a movie and we need to suspend logic involving science and reality. For example I accept the fact that guns fire in space even though there is no oxygen, but throw me a little bone. In Joss Whedon’s Firefly for example, there was an episode where they needed to fire a gun in space so they put it in a space suit. Now the bullet in the gun then traveled faster than the ship they were flying on, destroying the laser net that would kill them so the ship could be salvaged by pirates. I could accept the physics of this to an extent. They gave me oxygen.
I like Guy Pearce in this movie, but the trailer for Jason Statham’s next movie Safe, which appeared in the previews hit harder than this and this is a Luc Besson movie. I can’t put my finger on where this missed. It has all the classical elements of a hardcore explosion of violence, with the added bonus of space. It just goes to show that space is tricky. Just ask John Carter. Going there is not a guaranteed slam dunk. It’s a shame because Guy Pearce could have owned space. He’s that core.