With the overwhelming number of superhero films, sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, reimaginings and reinventions hitting theaters this year, it's easy for a film sporting an actual original idea to get lost in the shuffle. Case in point: "Lock-Out", a new action/sci-fi that flick stars Guy Pearce as a wrongfully-accused man who is given a chance at freedom if he agrees to attempt a rescue of the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) from an outer space penitentiary overrun by inmates.
Co-written and produced by Luc Besson, the plot of the new film sounds firmly entrenched in the B-movie tradition - a fact born out by the just-released trailer, which shows Pearce's character kicking ass and taking names in his near-suicidal quest to free the young woman from the clutches of a hilariously over-the-top band of tattooed inmates. This is the sort of thing you could've seen, say, Jean Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren starring in back in the early '90s, and I can't help but feel like there's something oddly refreshing about the rather dated feel of the whole enterprise.
But then that sounds like an insult, when in actuality the movie actually looks pretty dang cool, from its nifty "Alcatraz-in-space" concept to some striking sci-fi visuals, one of which features Pearce riding on some sort of futuristic motorcycle and another that sees him being tossed around in a giant "gravity generator". It all looks like quite a bit of fun, and Besson's involvement certainly raises expectations somewhat.
The only real caveat here is that directors Stephen St. Leger and James Mather (who also co-wrote the script with Besson) have never helmed a feature before, so we're on unprecedented ground as far as their abilities are concerned. Here's hoping "Lock-Out" turns out to be the entertaining genre piece the trailer suggests it could be.
My grade: B+. After watching the full trailer below, rate it for yourself at top left!
"Lock-Out" is slated for release on April 20th.