(2011) ★★★

Channel 4: Saturday 7 November, 11.40pm

Maverick agent Guy Pearce is sent to an outer space prison to rescue hostage Maggie Grace, the president’s daughter. Frenzied smash-up of Fortress and Demolition Man in comical celebration of 80s video action. Pearce’s cynical Snow is no Snake Plissken, but he’s more than a match for this flip material, which is delivered in unrelenting and unpretentious fashion.

Luc Besson was the brainchild (if that’s the right word), although it’s the debut feature of an Irish film-making team, Stephen St Leger and James Mather. Besson’s use of John Carpenter’s Escape from New York as a template was so blatant, a French court deemed it plagiarism earlier this year. Carpenter was awarded 20,000 euros, which excited him about as much as the proposed remake of They Live.

Certificate: 15
Duration: 91min

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