Lock Up is one of Stallone’s best movies and although it’s not exactly “fun” it has an extremely satisfying finale and you won’t be disappointed.
Plot: Frank Leone is nearing the end of his prison term for a relatively minor crime. Just before he is paroled, however, Warden Drumgoole (Donald Sutherland) takes charge. Drumgoole was assigned to a hell-hole prison after his administration was publicly humiliated by Leone, and has now arrived on the scene to ensure that Leone never sees the light of day.
Review: This really is an underrated classic of Sly’s. He gives one of his best performances and proves to critics that he actually can act. One of Stallone’s greatest gifts is that he can create such likable characters on screen and Frank Leone is one of his very best.
As great as Sly is in this movie, it belongs to Donald Sutherland who plays the sadistic warden Drumgoole and by god is he ever a complete bastard. The prison guards aren’t much better as they just love beating on the prisoners and making their time in jail an absolute hell.
All of the cast are excellent including Tom Sizemore and Frank McRae; at first Sizemore’s character comes across as really annoying but his character has an interesting story arc and is vital to the story.
Sonny Landham plays the evil inmate Chink Weber who is charged with trying to break Frank’s will. When this eventually happens, it’s a very satisfying scene with Frank beating the living crap out of Chink. Landham plays the character very realistically and comes across as a genuine threat.
Lock Up is extremely harrowing and won’t be for anyone looking for a fun Saturday night movie; it’s pretty hardcore and almost unbearably tense.
You do wonder if it is plausible, as in surely Frank’s wife could alert someone about the mistreatment of the prisoners. But it is a prison after all so nobody would listen. Glad I had this debate with myself.
Anyway, the score by Bill Conti is great with a simple piano tune that will linger in your header long after watching.
Overall, Lock Up is one of Stallone’s best movies and although it’s not exactly “fun” it has an extremely satisfying finale and you won’t be disappointed.