Sunday, April 22, 2012


Year: 2012
Directors: James Mather & Stephen St. Leger
Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Peter Stormare, Joseph Gilgun, Lennie James

Plot: A CIA operative convicted for a crime he didn't commit is called in to infiltrate MS One, a maximum security prison in space and rescue the President's daughter, who is held captive by the rioting inmates during her humanitarian visit.

Review: The plot pretty much screams Escape From New York, where Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken is sent into New York, now harboured by criminals, to rescue the President. In fact, a lot of things in this film seem quite familiar, from the colorful villains to the wise cracking anti-hero.

Luc Besson, well known for his Europe action flicks, brings in James Mather and Stephen St Leger as directors, and what we get is a load of action and violence, with a nice helping of funny one liners thrown in. And yet, the film falls short of what it could have been.

Because it's an action flick, and a B level one at that (sorry Luc), some logic was obviously missing throughout. Now, I can tolerate it as long as it's entertaining, but a couple of characters end up doing certain things that just wouldn't make sense, and it's blatantly executed just to move the story where it's supposed to go. Some parts of the film are also terribly predictable.

But on the bright side, we have the excellent Guy Pearce as the wise cracking Snow, who goes about his mission with one smarmy line after another. His 'couldn't give a damn' attitude works quite well here. Maggie Grace, who was in Besson's other action film Taken, matches Pearce well as the First Daughter. Unlike her character in Taken, she is a lot more feisty here. For every verbal blow Snow throws at her, she throws it right back in equal measure. Their banter somewhat saves the film from being a total bore.

To be fair, the last third of the film is where things start to pick up, and the plot slowly comes together for the ending. On the whole though, the film could use a bit more substance, and a lot less of Joseph Gilgun, who plays the mentally unstable convict Hydell, who does some pretty annoying things throughout the film. 

Overall, it's a decent action flick, nothing more. (3/5) 

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