Neil Fox on film: Lockout, Gone, Marley

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Lockout

With Titanic 3D sailing strong at the box office, showing no sign of being sunk, console yourself with this sublime piece of absolute hokum. It will win no prizes for craft or originality but as a piece of schlock entertainment it delivers.

Guy Pearce, surely the most extraordinary graduate from the Neighbours stable, may not be the most high profile escapee from Ramsey Street but he has certainly carved a career to savour with performances in the likes of LA Confidential and Mildred Pierce.

This role marks a departure for him, into beefed up, scenery chewing action movie territory, and while I hope it’s not permanent it’s great to see him having fun with it.

He’s in capable hands, as Luc Besson and the producers of Taken have conjured up a slice of sci-fi silliness from the top drawer.

Maggie Grace (Lost) is the girl in need of rescuing again, just like she was in Taken.

This time though, she is the president’s daughter, and she is kidnapped in space, on a space prison to be precise, and Guy, a disgraced traitor, is given a chance for redemption if he can save her.

Cue wisecracks, relentless action, dizzying camerawork and Guy Pearce looking stacked and shooting the breeze. A riot.

Gone

The guilty joy of Lockout is in knowing that the filmmakers understand it’s cheesy and revel in it.

The yang to that ying is this piece of awfulness which takes itself ridiculously seriously, with no real value to justify it.

Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!) is a young woman who believes the disappearance of her sister is down to a serial killer who has returned to plague her family after two years.

Trouble is, no-one in the film believes her and because it’s all so bad and clichéd and pointless, no-one in the audience cares.

Marley

The rise of the cinematic documentary was escalated sharply last year with a clutch of great works, most notably the British masterpiece Senna.

Kevin MacDonald is a filmmaker who made his name with documentaries that changed the landscape of documentary including One Day In September and the mighty Touching The Void.

His new film deals with legendary musician Bob Marley and it never scales the heights of his greatest works because it never gets far beyond the basics.

It’s cool, featuring some great interviews and some amazing footage, but it all feels safe and it never gets very deep into its fascinating subject matter, which is a real shame.

Even so, it’s a good film, and seeing a remarkable talent such as Marley rendered so lovingly is never a negative experience.