The first ten minutes are interesting, the next ten mainly due to the bad CGI are a waste but the rest of the film although stolen from past films like Die Hard, Escape from New York and Fortress is fiercely good.
The year is 2079 and Snow (Guy Pearce) is falsely accused of murder and espionage. The main question is what happened in that room in New York? A few punches to the face and still no answers that is until the good cop, Shaw (Lennie James) steps in to take over from tough cop Langral (Peter Stormare). The answers can be found with one man, Mace (Tim Plester) who happens to be held on M.S. 1, a maximum security prison in space. It seems that when Snow fled the scene of a crime in that New York apartment, he took with him a briefcase that held important information but during the chase and before his capture he was able to get it to Mace. Soon thereafter in a separate incident Mace hid the case but was arrested for shooting a cop, hence his time in prison.
President Warnock’s (Peter Hudson) daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) has just entered the prison with her bodyguard Hock (Jacky Ido) in hopes of making life for the prisoners being used as human guinea pigs a bit less distressing. Most Presidential family members work on peace issues, hunger or ailing diseases but Emilie decides to make a difference in the prison world. Why? It’s a movie! Meanwhile Snow is being held in a holding center on Earth before his conviction and sentencing for a possible thirty years.
When all goes wrong during Emilie’s visit and her chat with prisoner Hydell (Joseph Gilgun) she soon becomes a prisoner herself along with all the other employees and the criminals are now their captors led by Alex (Vincent Regan), Hydell’s brother. It is not until they discover who Emilie is that they figure they have their ticket to freedom. One problem, Hydell is not only a freak but very much so a loose cannon who wants Emilie all to himself.
Time is running out and the President sends in the best man for the job to save his daughter. That man happens to be Snow, who agrees to go mainly because his friend Mace is one of the prisoners on that maximum prison in space. A tough guy with a sense of humor he sets out on the coattails of a negotiator and enters the ship through a private entrance unknown to Alex and his band of criminals. With a race against time to save Emilie, find Mace and get off the ship before the president blows it up or it crashes into Earth, Snow is on a mission which includes protecting his own life as well in the meantime. What seems impossible gets even more complicated when feelings and emotions get involved and the answers he was looking for are no longer available to him. In the end, Mace mumbles these words to Emilie, “I see you, I foresee you “which at the times seems senseless but eventually could mean everything, at least for Marion!
What starts off a bit quirky during an interrogation scene takes off into bad lands during a very bad CGI chase scene but thankfully it picks up steam later on when Snow enters the Maximum Prison floating in space. At least the CGI in space was well done versus the horrific Earth sequences. The Movie is nicely directed even if many moments are clichés from previous cop versus bad guys versus hostage films. The writing is well done with a mix of intense action dialogues mixed with a sense of levity especially from Pearce’s character, Snow.
Pearce reminds me of Christian Bale; both really have a tendency of projecting their roles, with Pearce a buff and confident badass mentality out to save the damsel in distress. Grace plays her character well giving her a feminine yet overall tough mentality out to take a bad guy on if need be all along showing her vulnerability to Pearce’s character Snow. Both leads work well together adding a bit of sexual tension to the scenes. Regan and Gilgun are both superb but it is Gilgun that brings a sense of psychotic to his role engulfing the audience into his uncertain decisions involving not only Emilie but the other hostages and his brother as well. Plester and Ido both do not have large roles but definitely bring a realistic approach to them. James and Stormare both play well together as good cop bad cop both hiding a bit of pertinent information that can change the playing field. Overall an intriguing picture that will surely have the male audience bright eyed with anticipation for what is yet to come while one man takes on a huge ship of convicts hoping to save the girl and clear his name. Written with two and a half paws out of four mainly because of its entertainment value less its originality, I’m Jon Patch.