Lock Up Reviews
Frank Leone only has a few weeks to go before being released from prison, he is no hard core offender, he is a loving man and is ready for a new life with his gorgeous girlfriend Melissa. During the night he is whisked away to a maximum security prison on the orders of a sadistic warden out for revenge because Leone was the only man to have ever escaped from his prison, and thus put a blemish on his record.
We then follow Leone as he is pushed to the limits by crazy warden Drumgoole and all the sadistic guards under his command. He also enlists the help of resident inmate beefcake Chink Weber, and they all in turn try to break Leone at all costs to see that he never leaves prison again. There certainly is nothing here that hasn't been done before in the prison film genre, and only an idiot would expect anything other than the ending we get, but this is a Stallone movie and it's full of guts, testo macho action, and it should be noted that Sly here puts some depth to the character of Leone, he garners our sympathy quite quickly, and considering the bloke is built like the proverbial brick outhouse, it's quite an achievement.
The supporting players are a mixed bunch, this is Tom Sizemore's first motion picture and he does really well with the character of Dallas, Sonny Landham is his usual scary menacing self as Chink Weber, whilst Frank McRae as Eclipse does just enough right to leave his mark. So it's something of a surprise to me that the best actor on show is actually the films weak link, Donald Sutherland as Drumgoole does overplay it to the point that he goes beyond pantomime villain, it's a real teeth itching performance that he would only outdo with Virus 10 years later, but in a film with such primal fun intentions, it has to be considered perfect.
No awards here for sure, but when I watch a film about a man played by Sly Stallone in prison then I think I know what to expect, and it delivers all that I hoped for, hooray for the beefcake
A typical late 80's Sylvester Stallone vehicle that actually was pretty darn entertaining. I wasn't expecting much upon watching this, just to waste some time, but to my surprise I was engaged, intrigued, it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Lock Up overflows with masculinity and testosterone, as do much of Stallone's films. Director John Flynn (Rolling Thunder, Best Seller, Out For Justice) really did pretty good here, of course it's no Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile, but it's a decent little prison film. Solid action, wicked fight sequences, an enticing storyline as well as entertaining. As I said, I was surprised and I really enjoyed it, but it does come with it's fair share of flaws. I'll be positive, however.
Sylvester Stallone bearing gigantic jacked up muscles and roid rage gives the same monotonous performance that we are accustomed to from him, he does well however. Donald Sutherland is effective enough in this villainous role. I hate Jon Amos, so I won't even comment on him. And it's always nice to see Tom Distemper, he is great in an early career role.