Lock-Up (1989)

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John Flynn directs Sylvester Stallone, Donald Sutherland and Tom Sizemore in this prison actioner where a convict due for release is transferred to a brutal penitentiary by a warden with an axe to grind. 

For a fan of 80s action, I never really had as much time for Sly as I did Arnie, Mel or Bruce. His flicks always seemed sloppy, cheesy and achingly unaware. Lock-Up serves up the usual mess of mawkish sentimentalism, macho comedy, male bonding montages, bicep flexing and uninvolving fights. But it somehow works better than other Sly flicks. Just as schizophrenic – a football match is treated as war, an oppressive guard regime allows them to build a muscle car for fun, jokes about bug racing precede tragic deaths – yet somehow a good time. It helps that Donald Sutherland, Sonny Ladham and a scarily young Tom Sizemore are all on hand to chew the scenery. I enjoyed Lock-Up despite all its inherent flaws.

7

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