A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates. - IMDB
I was surprised to see Guy Pierce (Snow) in the movie, considering I havn’t seen him since “Momento,” who plays the shit talking dude who knows he’s a bad ass. The damsel in distress is the beautiful Maggie Grace (Taken) who goes through a great physical transformation in the film that is very reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley in “Alien”. At least i thought so. Vincent Regan (300) and Joseph Gilgun play a pair of inmate brothers with day and night personalities. While Regan may be the smarter of the two Gilgun’s character is just off the wall nuts and really fun to watch. The cast is rounded out with Lennie James (Snatch, The Walking Dead) and Peter Stormare who is probably the go to guy when it comes to typecasting the ass hole role.
Let me start by saying that I know this isn’t a B-Movie but I figured I’d talk about it anyway. When I first heard about this movie and it’s plot I was automatically reminded of “Fortress”, a 90’s movie staring the awesome Christopher Lambert. If you pick up the DVD you’ll find at the bottom “Die Hard meets Blade Runner” when in actuality it’s more like “Fortress meets Escape from L.A.”. At least that what I took from my introduction of the movie before it was released in America. At that point I hadn’t quite seen enough or read enough about this movie to really lock in my interested until I heard it was produced and written by Luc Besson. Anything he attaches his name to is usually quality entertainment (i.e. The Professional, Fifth Element, Unleashed ect.) This is what sold me on the the movie and that’s the sole reason I bought it before watching it.
After popping in the movie I started recognizing familiar faces and noticed how cool of a cast this was. The “Momento” guy, the hot daughter from “Taken”, the general of the spartan 300, Sol from “Snatch”and Satan from “Constantine”. I dug the players but the game they were playing was a bit of a different story. The first thing I noticed was that the movie was fast paced…and i mean really fast paced. The way it was edited made me feel like i was watching a trailer through out the most of the movie.
I’m all for quick sequences but most of the time it was a bit of an annoyance. The dialog was good, the acting was fine and there was a decent amount of comedy that kept it from becoming a stale action flick. I really enjoyed the Sci-Fi aspect of the movie as well but found that the Sci-Fi-ness was a bit much in a few places. The CG is one of those places. While most of the movie looks great the chase seen at the beginning was a laugh. Almost took me right out of the movie. Lucky for me I didn’t have to endure that kind of cruddy quality CG work anytime after. The action was good, not great and not as much as I’d thought there would be. Any sequence involving shoot outs was over way to quickly and fortunately (or unfortunately) for the audience we weren’t given a final kiss to end the movie on. Maybe my favorite parts of the movie was any character interaction with Hydell and the back and fourth dialog between the protagonists.
THE IT FACTOR? : DECENT
While I certainly didn’t hate the movie I was expecting a bit more on the action. While i was pleasantly surprised with the dialog I really needed to see some great death sequences which never came to light. Surprising considering this is a movie about a space prison with thousands of armed inmates. I’m glad this movie is part of my collection but I really wish I had waited for this to go down in price. While not one of Luc Besson’s best it’s still a fun run through for anyone looking for a good flick to watch.