It has been some time since we've seen a movie reviewed here. Rucht's Cabin in the Woods review was in the spring and my review on The Grey was nine months ago! Well I've watched a lot of movies since then, and many were deserving of a review...but it doesn't matter, on to this one.
I am a big fan of Luc Besson (the Professional, Fifth Element, The Big Blue, and more) so when I heard his name attached to this, I took notice. I'm also a big fan of Guy Pearce (Memento, Ravenous, LA Confidential) and when I saw him as the lead role I especially took notice, since he just doesn't do shoot 'em up sci-fi action flicks.
In the near future the president's attractive and feisty daughter gets taken hostage aboard a space station prison full of 500 of the worst criminals around. It's a bad situation and before they blow up the station, they send in a convicted ex-CIA tough guy looking to clear his name to rescue the girl and save the day.
Yup. That's it, that's the whole movie.
It's not a great movie, it's not even all that good of a movie, but I really got the sense that they weren't taking themselves too seriously at the same time. Seeing Pearce do a wonderful job as pandering action hero really made me think, he wasn't playing a one-liner spouting, dime-a-dozen action star, he was playing a parody of said action star. And in the end, I think he might be the only actor who could've pulled that off. It's subtle, but it's there.
It seems I've really been nit picky about editing in films as of late, and this one does not escape my scrutiny in the slightest. There were a lot of liberties taken that made the overall taste of the movie just feel feel choppy and lack depth. There is a particular pair of prisoners that are the antagonists, and their story is intriguing, but there's just not enough of it fleshed out to go on. The action is what you'd expect, with some consistent if not wholly uninspiring special effects work. There's no deep meaning or hidden message, no 'gotcha' moment in the end, just a straight forward sci-fi shooter. Which got me thinking, it makes a point in the credits to say "Based on an Original Idea by Luc Besson". Really? This whole movie was basically Escape From New York...in space.
It doesn't sound all that great, huh? Maybe so, but I still liked this movie. Guy Pearce alone makes it watchable and though there were a lot of moments that could be improved upon throughout the film, there were enough gems as well to make it worthwhile. Let me know if I steered you in the right, or the wrong, direction. Enjoy!