Lockout - Unrated Edition Blu-ray Review
Lockout comes to US Region Free Blu-ray complete with a picture-perfect 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. Detail is excellent throughout, the HD-shot digital cinematography allowing for every minute little element to be picked up, from the stunning fine object detail, to the facial close-ups that reveal every nuance of skin texture, scarring and hair definition, to the medium and long shots that simply never waver into soft territory. There’s no sign of any digital defects either, with no artefacting, banding, blocking, crush or unwieldy DNR tinkering. The colour scheme is largely limited by the setting, although it never feels bland, with surprisingly vibrant prison oranges blending in with the grimy but neon-stricken space station effects. Skin tones are naturally rendered – if bordering on cosmetically perfected – and black levels are strong and deep, allowing for excellent shadow detail during the darker sequences, of which there are many. Simply nothing to fault, this is another beautiful video presentation from Sony.
On the aural front the accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is almost as impressive as the video, truly trying its absolute hardest to improve and enhance the movie itself, through not only an almost constant boisterous bombardment of action-beats, but also some nice smaller, subtler touches which help craft some engaging atmospherics. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout – even Guy Pearce’s chewed-up-and-thrown-away lines – largely dominating the frontal array where appropriate. Effects are myriad, from the small arms fire to the massive auto-turrets mounted on the space prison itself, whipping around the air as if you’re under siege in your very own living room. Directionality is excellent, the effects boasting both precision and impact, with welcome accompaniment from the LFE channel. There are plenty of other subtle ambient touches which come into focus too, the space station positively feeling like a floating hulk; throbbing with whirring machinery and the bustle of recently-released psychos. The score is utterly forgettable, and completely throwaway, but largely suits the material and, whilst it may come across as just that little bit too eager to please, it often enhances rather than detracts from the proceedings, and certainly gives the surrounds yet more to do. All in all, reference quality through and through.
Disappointingly, whilst this release does boast the Unrated version of the film, the actual Extra Features are remarkably thin on the ground, with just two Featurettes and a few Trailers.
Breaking Into Lockout is an 11-minute Making-Of Featurette that takes an overview into the production; working with two directions; what Guy Pearce brought to the mix; the unusual setting; shooting largely using green screens, and the difficulties acting without sets.
A Vision of the Future takes a further 10 minutes to further explore the futuristic setting in greater detail, from the flashback chase sequence to the various weapons and gadgets used; to the vehicles and space prison.
The disc is rounded off by some preview trailers.
A cheesy slice of b-movie sci-fi action frivolity, Luc Besson’s latest writer/producer effort takes the solid premise of Escape from New York... in space and delivers a fairly flimsy end product. It may sport a few nice action beats, but is also has more than a few lacklustre abortive confrontations, and it may have a couple of interesting sci-fi ideas, but it also boasts some pretty shoddy CG work. In fact, if it weren’t for a fairly adventurous and reasonably engaging lead performance from Guy Pearce, this would have probably never seen the inside of a movie theatre.
On Region Free US Blu-ray we get picture-perfect video and near-perfect audio, as well as a couple of extras, so fans of the film should not have any hesitation in picking this up. Those who enjoy Besson’s b-movie writer/producer output (Colombiana, the Transporter Trilogy, the District 13 movies, the Taxi movies, Hitman and Taken) should consider this a reasonably decent entry that treads a comfortable middle-ground in that list and is thus probably worth adding to your Besson sub-collection, and anybody else interested shouldn’t be put off from at least giving it a rental – just don’t expect more than a pretty mediocre sci-fi actioner with a surprisingly entertaining lead performance and you shouldn't be disappointed.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £22.31
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.