It’s hard to come up with an original pitch for a high-concept action movie these days, especially when all the good ones have been taken. That’s why the ‘Die Hard on a [insert mode of transport/location] formula has become so popular over the last three decades, because it’s technically a fresh spin on a familiar premise.
However, when Luc Besson’s Lockout arrived in April 2012, it didn’t take audiences very long to see through the facade. The plot follows Guy Pearce’s fantastically-named Marion Snow, a wrongly convicted government agent, tasked with rescuing the daughter of the President from a space prison that holds 500 of the most dangerous and deadly criminals in the galaxy.
If you read that logline and think, ‘Hey! That sounds an awful lot like Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.‘, then rest assured that John Carpenter totally agreed with that sentiment. So much so that he sued Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp for plagiarism and won, with damages being awarded to the filmmaker, screenwriter Nick Castle and studio MGM among others.
All that for a film that’s almost impressively unspectacular, with Pearce’s performance the only memorable thing about Lockout. That hasn’t stopped it from finding new life on Netflix, though, where it’s shot up the most-watched list to set its sights on the Top 20, as per FlixPatrol.