Tag Archives: Lennie James

Review: Lockout

How could you have a plot about a guy saving the president’s daughter from an outer space prison riot and not pour every resource into making that scenario as wildly enjoyable as possible? If you’re going high concept, the only way to make it work is if you go high concept to the max. However, the guys behind Lockout only take it about halfway there, as far too much of their energy, attention and budget is stolen by lame story frills.

When a CIA operative is murdered in Washington DC in 2079, agent Snow (Guy Pearce) is hauled in for questioning. Snow is wrongly convicted of the crime and sentenced to 30 years on MS One, a maximum security prison in space. Meanwhile, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), the daughter of the president of the United States, is on her way to that very prison to assess its status and look into potential side effects of the deep sleep treatment used on the inmates, one of which is extreme aggression. When things go awry during one of her interviews, an inmate (Joseph Gilgun) escapes and frees his cohorts, inciting a violent riot.

With Emilie’s life at stake, senior officer Scott Langral (Peter Stormare) reluctantly reassesses his plan to lock Snow away and instead sends him to MS One to find and rescue Emilie. After all, it is a suicide mission.

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Review: The Next Three Days

It’s one thing to walk into a drama and get a little action, but when you opt to check out a thriller that winds up being more of a drama, it’s a bit too difficult to adjust. Making it harder to appreciate a drama with a thrilling twist is a lengthy presentation. There’s a lot that works inThe Next Three Days, if only director Paul Haggis had paid more attention to keeping a proper pace, perhaps that drama would have created more suspense and risen to the level of the film’s more exhilarating moments. Instead we’re left with something that isn’t quite dramatic or thrilling and doesn’t strike a chord as much as it could have.

Life is good for the Brennan family, but when Lara (Elizabeth Banks) is dragged out of her house by police officers as her young son looks on, they’re existence becomes anything but ideal. John (Russell Crowe) misses Lara terribly and Luke (Ty Simpkins) refuses to even look at his mother when they go to visit. Lara claims she didn’t commit the crime, but the evidence against her is overwhelming. John soon realizes there is no way to get Lara out of prison – legally.

The central plot of The Next Three Days is beautifully simple; a man’s wife is wrongly accused of a crime and the only way they can be a family again is by breaking her out. The problem is, it takes an awfully long time to get there. The opening sequence is fantastic. We get a very brief, but telling dinner scene during which Lara has a harsh yet amusing argument with her sister-in-law followed by a typical morning in the Brennan household. Unfortunately, breakfast doesn’t last long and a barrage of officers demolishes the serene setting. After Lara’s taken away, that’s about it in terms of action for quite a while.

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