Lock Up (1989)

Warden Drumgoole: "This is hell, and I'm going to give you the guided tour."
By John Flynn
With Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland and John Amos

I think I came across Lock Up while seeing Sonny Landham's filmography. Lock Up seemed like the perfect example of a very manly action movie and I figured I could keep it in store for some day where I'd want to see an action movie.

The film focuses on Frank Leone, a convict who has very good relations with the wardens in his prison--so much so that he gets weekends out--but after coming back from a weekend outside, a team comes overnight and transfers him to another prison, even though he has only 6 months left of his sentence. Frank quickly learns the reason of his transfer. Once news of his previous escape from Warden Drumgoole's prison got around, bad publicity ensued for Drumgoole who ended up in this prison. Drumgoole now intends to make Leone pay for that, through every possible means.

Lock Up is mid-way a prison movie and an action movie. Stallone is quite convincing as Frank Leone and the role seems tailored for him. The story is pretty classic and not very original, relying mostly on a portrayal of a strong, yet moral and good doer inmate having to face sadistic wardens with a thirst for blood. Some of the best scenes happen with all the inmates outside, for example the football in the mud scene or the car in the mud scene. The inmates that gravitate around Leone are also quite interesting, but unfortunately we don't really know much about them. As most films of the genre, we are served with the gratuitous muscles and men doing manual work scenes. In the end, the movie tries to send out a feel good wave and manages it fairly well.

I liked: I was looking for an action, macho man movie and it's pretty much it. Outdoors scenes. Leone is a great character.

I disliked: Not original. Doesn't explore any of the jail internal rules or systems. Not realistic.

A manly man action film in the prison system, ends up being quite a feel good movie.


Post a Comment