Luc Besson is turning out to be this hefty boardroom type who likes to kick back in his private office (no doubt equipped with a bar, high-tech treadmill, elliptical machine and shower) while getting a young, newbie filmmaker (in this case two of them) to sweat through the process of making an action movie.
Besson is the producer of “Lockout,” a sci-fi tale set against the backdrop of an outer-space maximum-security prison. Some of the visuals recall Besson’s sleeper hits “Leon: The Professional” and “The Fifth Element” — back in the day when he wrote and directed his own movies at a pretty prolific pace. But closer inspection reveals that “Lockout,” for all its assured visual attractiveness, is missing the sarcasm, wit and mischief that defined those two works. Sadly, “Lockout” weighs heavily on the soul in the manner of bad airport coffee: You think it’ll wake you up but the stuff bogs you down with its swampy residue.