Luc Besson's output as a producer has always been more about adrenaline than ideas, so it's unsurprising that his latest simply lifts its template from John Carpenter's Escape From New York and amplifies every element.
The escape-proof prison this time is in outer space rather than on an isolated Manhattan island, but the premise is the same: A reluctant hero is enlisted to break into a high-security jail and rescue a hostage, in this case the president's daughter (a variation nicked from Carpenter's own self-parodic Escape From L.A.). Like Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken, Guy Pearce's Snow is a hero not due to any special abilities or code of honor, but simply because his world-weary cynicism allows him to shrug off every misfortune and beating with an eyeroll and a caustic one-liner.
Directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, owing to either inexperience or inadequate budget, never manage to make Snow's mission seem particularly impossible, keeping him clear of most of the supposed hundreds of degenerate escapees. There are a few moments of Bessonian lunacy, including a car chase accelerated to the point of incomprehensibility and the screen’s most ridiculous skydive, but much more time is spent on wandering through steam-filled hallways and bickering. It's only Pearce's enjoyably snarky performance that elevates Lockout above direct-to-DVD status.