Luc Besson’s line of Euro-action thrillers moves into Sci-Fi territory here. In its future setting, the world’s most dangerous convicted criminals are sentenced to spend years in stasis aboard an off-planet prison that is in low earth orbit. The US president’s well-meaning but naïve daughter (Maggie Grace) is worried that this condition could have a permanently damaging effect on these psychopath’s brains so, in a wantonly idiotic move, has herself sent up to the prison and thaws out a criminally insane Scotsman to interview. Needless to say, within a period of about three minutes, he escapes, overpowers all guards and releases the other inmates who then take control of the whole satellite. Fortunately for the government, they were just about to wrongly send smarmy but badass CIA agent Snow to the prison and swiftly offer him his freedom in exchange for getting the girl out.
So it all sounds a lot like ‘Con Air- meets ‘Die Hard’ in space with some ‘Escape from New York’.
The film’s very brisk pace does a great deal for it though, as it never wastes any time drawing out proceedings and gets a lot into its brief running time. Guy Pearce, a long proven dramatic actor, makes a good case for himself as an action hero here, much like Liam Neeson did in ‘Taken’ (another Besson production), as he inventively takes out the bad guys. The film also gets a lot of humour out of his exchanges with the captive daughter.
Nothing special then, but an enjoyable enough throwback to 80s/90s action thrillers.