Great tense humorous action flick...in space! In the near future a cynical, wisecracking tough guy Snow (Guy Pearce) is after the proverbial Mcuffin in an aluminum briefcase. After a spectacular chase scene with a little parkour, helicopters crashing on an urban highway and finally ditching the McGuffin with his mysterious buddy Mace, they take him in and sentence him to 30 years at a prison on an orbiting space station where inmates are placed in suspended animation for their sentence. Hey, it sounds better than 30 years of not dropping soap in the shower! Except that the hibernation process scrambles your mind and they use prisoners in medical experiments (something involving sawing the top of your head off)
The president's hot daughter Emilie (Maggie Grace) goes up there to investigate human rights abuses then there's a riot and all the orange jumpsuits wake up, shoot all the guards and take over. The main ones have Irish accents. Snow is offered the Rambo-esque "suicide mission to clear your name" deal to go in and rescue Emilie, get out with a Star Wars/Alien-esque escape pod and get picked up by the Secret Service. Of course they take a whole lot of hostages and the prisoners do a LOT of cold blooded killing.
There's a great anti-gravity chamber chase that may remind some viewers of a demented version of the fizzy lifting drinks sequence in Willy Wonka and an almost Pulp Fiction-esque corpse revival.
The plot moves like a bullet train, the dialogue reminded me of the BEST dialogue from the old Spiderman comics (or maybe Clint Eastwood movies) I would go so far to say that this is exactly my idea of what a comic book adaptation SHOULD be like because it captures the mythic aspect of the hero and what makes him a hero really POPS out in contrast to other characters--and that is he's almost zen-like. He's very rooted but doesn't have a hidden agenda like everyone else and has a moral strength that gives him power. All right that's enough serious film critic rambling.
Made in Belgrade, which is great because I'm fascinated by how other countries perceive the U.S. AND, unlike Hollywood, these European studios these days are actually coming up with great original ideas, and not just churning out sequels, remakes and movies all based on old TV shows, comic books, video games and amusement park rides.