Danny (Schiena) is a hard working cop, living the confused life of a man who lives dual lives – one as a hard talking, no-shit taking cop, the other as an undercover hard talking, no-shit taking cop. Apparently his life is a bit of a mess, but within 10 minutes of getting home from a life threatening drugs bust, Danny finds himself between the legs a ridiculously attractive woman, who for some reason only waits until after they’ve had sex before she brings up the issues associated with dating an undercover cop. Danny just wanted to snuggle.
Things soon nosedive for our fist happy cop, as the powers that be frame him for possessing a fairly hefty amount of cocaine. But who would want to set Danny up? And why has he been sent to a prison full of the men that he worked so hard to put away? Surely that’s going to present some pretty awkward cafeteria moments?
Turns out Danny was set up by the criminal king-pin of the prison, the infamous Anton Vargas (Vinnie Jones) who Danny sent down several years ago. Vargas wants Danny to pay for putting him away, and sets about putting Danny through hell. Even the warden and head guard are on Vargas’s pay. It’s not long before Danny finds himself neck deep in the illegal cage fighting league of Vargas, and he’s headed for a clash which could see him get killed. Things soon develop into a race against time for Danny, as he tries to stay alive long enough to find anyone on the outside who can help prove his innocence. It’s got training montage written all over it.
I’ve seen sheep with more acting potential than the majority of the cast of this film. Dead sheep. It says a lot when Vinnie Jones is quite easily the best actor in the cast; a lot of very bad things. But Locked Down isn’t really about captivating acting performances, just like Gnome & Juliet isn’t about doing good service to Shakespeare.
To give you an insight into what Locked Down is all about, here are a few of the best lines from the film:
“Understood, fuck monkeys?!” – Prison Officer to prisoners. He’s a street dwag. Ya get me?
“Shit boy, you got some moves!” – Ivring, Danny’s prison cell mate, to Danny, after witnessing the wronged-cop open a can of woop-ass on some “Asians”. His words, not mine.
“Man, this guy’s a fucking beast!” – Danny, in response to seeing his final opponent training. Pass the soap?
“You owe me for saving your crazy white ass.” – Irving to Danny in a letter. Irving is Afro-Caribbean. This, according to the script writer, is what all black men sound like.
“All right, Blacky-Chan?!” – Prison Officer to Irving, on finding out he’s going to train Danny. That’s right. Blacky-Chan. Hasn’t your day just got a little worse knowing that someone got away with this film?
The progress of the film largely plays out like a video game, with a pair of breasts or a slow motion fight occurring almost every 15 minutes. The script, in case you hadn’t got a feel for it from the above quotes, reads like a poor copy of Grand Theft Auto. In all, there are no redeemable features to the screenplay, although you have to hand it to the writers D. Glase Lomond, Daniel Zirilli and Bobby Mort (it took three of them?!), they know what the GTA generation want, and they dish it out by the bucket load.
If you thought that the fight scenes and all the naked ladies would allow this film to be a ‘good laugh’, like the recently reviewed Alien Vs Ninja, all possible enjoyment is killed by late on in the day by Locked Down‘s shameless use of the Shawshank Redemption‘s storyline. Yep, Irving has carved a hole in the wall to escape the prison. It took three men write this story?! Three?!