Monday, September 23, 2013

Comparative Review: Lockout vs Parker

I'm reviewing two movies at once tonight, just because I've been behind on my posts and I been watching a lot of movies.  Lockout (2012) is a sci-fi action movie with Guy Pearce, Parker (2013) is an action / crime movie with Jason Statham.

I'm going to review Lockout first because I saw it last night.  Now both of these are action movies that feature a strong male lead.  These are not chick flicks.  lol  I have heard Lockout described as an action comedy, but it's really not.  Much like Die Hard was not an action comedy.  Sure, Bruce Willis had some funny lines, and he had a sense of humor, but it was not a comedy.  In that sense, neither is Lockout.

Lockout is set a few years in the future.  A supermax prison (super maximum security for the most hardened and dangerous convicts) has been constructed in earth orbit, where the prisoners are actually in cryogenic suspension while serving their sentences.  I never really understood the purpose of cryogenic prison terms, I mean, basically the criminal goes to sleep, wakes up many years later without having visibly aged, and is what, free to go about his business as if nothing happened?  Seems goofy.  Anywho, there's an agent, and who he works for is never really clear, but apparently he's one of the good guys.  He takes the fall for a crime he didn't commit, and is about to be processed into jail when the supermax in space, called MS-1, has a riot.  All the prisoners get freed from cryo-prison, and the president's daughter had the bad luck to be visiting it at the time.  This agent (Guy Pearce) pretty much jokes his way through about every situation imaginable (which is where the comedy comes in), but he's offered the chance to get a pardon if he can escape the facility with the president's daughter.  To be honest, I'm not really sure why it's called Lockout.  But there you go.

I liked Lockout.  It didn't seem to get many stars from the average Netflix reviewer (I usually check the reviews before I watch a movie), but the action was pretty steady and things seemed to move along pretty well.  Production quality was good and the special effects were excellent.  I wasn't really fond of the fairly outrageous climax, but eh.  Other than that the movie worked pretty well.

Parker is the story of a small-time criminal who gets the chance to go big-time and turns it down.  Probably a smart move, but his cronies don't like his choice, and decide to oust him out of his share as well as his life.  Since it's a jason Statham movie and he plays the part of Parker, you know where this is going.  Mr. Statham is pretty reliable on his action movies, but unfortunately this movie is marred by the part played by Jennifer Lopez.  It's not that her acting was the problem, but that Mr. Statham's usual action sequences seemed to be overshadowed by Ms. Lopez's involvement.  I guess it made him seem more human that usual, more vulnerable, and that really didn't seem to do him much good.  Don't get me wrong, the guy seems to be damn near indestructible in this movie, but his reliance on anyone else, or in this case, several people, seems to make this less of an action movie and more of an almost-romance, but it never works out that way, so...  I guess that's why THIS movie didn't do too well.

I hope I haven't given too much away about these movies.  I mean, one a jason Statham movie, so you pretty much know how his movies go.  The other one wasn't as predictable but there was a lot of action too.  I would say Guy Pearce's action style is very similar to John McClane from Die Hard.  Seems to get his ass kicked more often than not, but gets the job done.  Unlike Jason Statham, who never loses a fight, and doesn't have as many witty one-liners.

Honestly, if I had to recommend one movie out of these two, and they are both decent action movies, I would say Lockout was actually the better of the two.  The science fiction elements almost make it a different genre, but both movies are basically about kicking ass, shooting people and blowing shit up, and what the hell else do you want in a movie, anyway?  Just an enjoyable hour and a half or two hours, and a high body count!  There you go.

Another matchup coming soon!  One more week til the annual Horror-movie review-a-thon commences!  I've come up with my own drinking game for my review-a-thon!  Every time I get upset because there's no nudity, you take a shot.  Every time I use the word "rewatchability," you take two shots.  If your liver isn't shot to hell by the end of October, you get to try again next year!  lol

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