I’m often asked what my guilty pleasures are. And I respond by saying I don’t have any, since I don’t think I should feel guilty for enjoying a film, no matter how poorly it was received within the critical community. I feel no guilt for having enjoyed ‘Lockout’, the new sci-fi action film directed by James Mather, and Stephen St.Leger. Though I suppose for most people, this would qualify as a guilty pleasure. The plot – It’s the year 2079 and the world’s most violent criminals are now incarcerated in an outer space prison. Snow (Guy Pearce) plays a wrongly convicted government agent. His one chance at freedom is to rescue the President’s kidnapped daughter, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace) – her idiotic journey to a maximum security prison in space has resulted in her being held hostage by its prisoners. I’m glad I didn’t have to do a video review of ‘Lockout’ – I wouldn’t have been able to describe the plot with a straight face. The laugh ratio is high enough to warrant “Best Comedy of the Year” status. I laughed out loud throughout much of this cheesy throwback to the action films of the 80s and 90s. The action sequences are colorful, but cartoonish and scaled back to receive a PG-13 rating. Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace elevate the material even with its ridiculous plot, and the fact that there are as many clichés as bullets being fired in the picture. When a film is so bad it’s good, well, then it’s good, right? ‘Lockout’ has no delusions of grandeur. It aims to be a big dumb fun, and it succeeds. I doubt I’ll give ‘Lockout’ a moment’s thought once this review is posted, but for its 95 minute runtime, it makes for pretty good escapism.

– Jerry Nadarajah

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