Lockdown, formerly COVID-19: Invasion, is set in the plague-ravaged year of 2035. The world’s population has been decimated, there are only 29,000,000 people left. And it’s about to become 28,999,999 as, after a short chase, Rex (Kevin Nash, The Punisher, WWE Hall of Fame wrestler) shoots an unarmed woman despite her protestations that she’s not sick.
Sadly what most caught my attention wasn’t the brutality of the scene or the acting. It was the fact that, despite the world apparently having gone to Hell in a handbasket, Rex is driving a shiny new pickup truck, with no dirt, dents, scratches or rust to be seen. It’s reassuring to know that the auto industry and car washes will get through the crisis.
But, I digress. Rex has gotten it into his head that COVID is being spread by the homeless. So he plans to save the world by wiping out the homeless, starting with the ones living in an abandoned school. Most of his buddies in the local militia are down with the idea, and his son Justin (Swayde McCoy, The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord) is gung ho to lead the raid. But his father tells him to go talk to Hap Rollins (David Ford, A Wish for Giants, Man vs Bigfoot), an ex-military type instead.
Hap however wants nothing to do with it. He also realizes that his drug-addicted sister Courtney (Stephanie Kae Smith) is one of the homeless squatters in the school. Despite their estrangement, he can’t just leave her to be killed and goes to rescue her. Unfortunately, he arrives just as the militia arrives and puts the building into lockdown. Now he’ll have to fight his way out to save her, and himself.
According to a statement posted at the end of the film writer/director Micah Lyons (The Runners, No Man’s Land) started shooting Lockdown before there was even a script. That may explain some of the problems with things like character names, etc. But that’s the least of the film’s issues.
Remember what I said about Rex’s truck? Well, just about everything in Lockdown looks new or at least normally used. There’s running water, electricity, and cell phone service. An exterior shot of the militia headquarters looks like an auto dealership with all the new vehicles. The only older ones we see are the couple that gets blown up.
For a world that’s supposedly being crushed by this disease, everything looks pretty good. I never got the sense that this wasn’t the present day, or that the villains were anything but the kind of idiots who get their “facts” from talk radio and social media posts.
To his credit, Lyons does get the film to the school within Lockdown’s first twenty minutes and does deliver plenty of action, most of it hand-to-hand brawls that look like pro wrestling matches. Unfortunately Nash, despite being perfect for this, is nowhere to be found, he does a Danny Trejo and vanishes after the first ten minutes leaving Ford and McCoy to carry the film.
While there is just enough action to keep Lockdown from dragging, there wasn’t enough to distract me from its unconvincing future world. Or to keep me from wondering why, if they’re so worried about catching the virus, they went in shooting. Why not, once they blocked all the exits simply set the place on fire? While it’s not a total disaster, there’s no compelling reason to see Lockdown unless you’re a die-hard Kevin Nash fan, and even then you can bail out after the first few minutes.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Lockdown on DVD and VOD on February 1st.