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Lockout

Comparison:

  • PG-13
  • Unrated
Release: Nov 29, 2012 - Author: Mike Lowrey - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB
It has quite some tradition that some of writer/producer Luc Besson's movies get censored for a more profitable PG-13 rating. In the past, the films The Transporter, Taken 1 + 2 or Colombiana were victims of this strategy. It is therefore no surprise that Besson's production Lockout starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace shares the fate of the other movies. This time, the humorous B-action flick got a PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, and language including some sexual references" since Hollywood studios often can't get enough when it comes to money. Even if that means that they run the risk of castrating a film quite heavily and thus cutting some of the impact away. Maybe those US viewers who know about this situation and still agree to buy a theater ticket to see the movie there instead of waiting for the obligatory unrated version later on don't really deserve it any better. But seeing how much money the heavily censored PG-13 version of Taken 2 managed to haul in American cinemas (135 million!), it's safe to assume that this distribution strategy won't be shut down in the near future. And still, cutting down a film doesn't always pay off that well. Lockout barely managed to make its money back when you take the worldwide numbers. While the US got the cut PG-13, it seems that the rest of the world got the original version in theaters right away. American customers got this a bit later on DVD/Blu-ray and may pay some more bucks to the happy producers.

The censorship for the PG-13 rating is obviously no unknown territory for the filmmakers in Besson's team since they managed to take the edge off it very well by applying almost every tool one could think of. Next to using harmless alternate takes or simply cutting something out, the PG-13 also delivers a censored dialogue, audio line and even digitally manufactured visual alterations (and maybe even blood that's not quite as red as it is normally). A lot of effort to make a film that is usually aiming at experienced B-action buffs suitable for teenagers.

Even though the unrated/original cut of the movie will be the dominant one in the present and future, the PG-13 version can still be found at various places. Next to the US video rental stores such as Redbox or Blockbuster, we have the streaming services of Amazon.com or Netflix (which is where we found it). Since it is expectable that streaming will be an even more important distribution channel for digital media in the future, the countries outside the US can only hope that they won't be bothered with the edited MPAA versions of movies. While we have to see how that evolves later on, we should all give an appreciative nod to the uncensored DVD/Blu-ray of Lockout on our shelf and punish the PG-13 version with ignorance.


Comparison between the censored PG-13 version and the uncensored Unrated version.

39 differences, consisting of

18 cuts
15 scenes with alternate footage
4 scenes with a censored audio line
1 scene with a censored dialogue
1 scene with digital censorship


The Unrated version runs 12.96 sec. longer than the PG-13 version.
Alternate footage
0:02:46: When snow shoots the goon, he is briefly shown from the side and a bloodstain can be seen at the wall behind him. This is followed by a close-up of the man and now we see that Snow apparently shot through his mouth. He slowly falls to the side and the bloodstain with the bullet hole can be seen more clearly. The PG-13 version only shows how the goon falls to the ground and is also omitting the bloody spot on the wall. Nice and clean for the kids.
The UR runs 1,96 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Alternate footage
0:02:48: The bad guy falls to the ground a little longer in the UR. The PG-13 has a longer shot of Snow instead.
The PG-13 runs 0.32 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



0:05:07: The special forces shoot at Snow a bit longer.
1.76 sec.



Alternate footage
0:16:56: The secret service agent is show. The UR shows this happening onscreen while the PG-13 shows the startling Emilie.
The PG-13 runs 0.08 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Alternate footage
0:17:14: The other agent is shot in the chest, as well. Instead of seeing this, the viewers of the PG-13 get the shooting Hydell.
The PG-13 runs 0.08 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



0:17:35: What a bad boy Hydell is. He shoots at the glass door in the UR. The PG-13 can’t show this act of cruelty, of course.
0.64 sec.



0:19:31: A convict punches another one in the face.
0.76 sec.



0:19:34: We see how the convict makes a swipe at his opponent with the metal piece but we don’t see the last frames of how he hits him. At least that’s the case in the PG-13 version.
0.28 sec.



Alternate footage
0:19:43: Clever trick. Since the PG-13 can’t show how the guards shoot the convict, we see Alex looking at them a little longer.
The PG-13 runs 0.28 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Censored audio line
0:19:54: When Alex punches the guard in the face, you’d normally hear a clear impact noise. The UR has it, the PG-13 does not.
No time difference



Censored audio line
0:19:55: And the same thing goes for the elbow punch.
No time difference



0:20:32: Exactly those 2 frames where the exit wound in the guard’s back is showing are missing.
0.08 sec.



0:20:42: Emilie fights off Hydell a little longer.
1,08 sec.



Digital censorship
0:26:41: Here, we have more than one alteration in one scene. When the psychopathic killer touches the window with his bloody hands, we not only have a cut but also a visual change. The reflection of the light has been enhanced so that the sight of the blood on the window and hands of the man is veneered. We still discovered it, though. Tee-hee.
1,28 sec.

PG-13Unrated



0:26:43: He looks a little longer at his blood-soaked hands.
0.72 sec.



0:26:45: And a little longer as he moves around nervously with the knife in his hand.
1,4 sec.



Censored audio line
0:26:51: Here, the role of the soundtrack is clearly used for censorship reasons. While the UR lets the viewer hear all sounds of Alex blocking the killer’s stabbing attempts, the breaking of bones, the stabbing, the killer’s short agonizing moan, the turning of the knife in the wound and the extraction of the knife, the PG-13 avoids all of that by increasing the volume of the soundtrack and reducing the effect sounds. Apart from that, no cuts were made.
No time difference



Alternate footage
0:29:24: The UR shows Hydell touching the guard’s injured nose in a front view. The PG-13 shows this from a perspective behind the guard, thus omitting the details of Hydell’s little torture.
The PG-13 runs 0.4 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Alternate footage
0:34:01: When Hydell shoots the other woman, we see how the bullet hits her. The PG-13 shows harmless alternate material.
The PG-13 runs 0.08 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Censored dialogue
0:34:05: Not that as well… When Hydell talks to agent Hock, the PG-13 has a different word at the end of the sentence. While it’s “cock” in the UR, the actor’s heavy Scottish accent makes it quite hard to decipher what he says in the PG-13. It sounds like “dick”, but would that really be a better alternative for kids? (if you have suggestions, drop us a comment below).
No time difference



0:34:56: Alex points his gun directly at the face of the negotiator.
0.52 sec.



Alternate footage
0:37:04: After the explosive belt did its work, the dead opponent drops to his knees and we see his bloody, headless torso falling to the ground. The PG-13 shows Snow waiting in a protective position a bit longer. The sound of the scene can be heard here, as well.
The UR runs 0.36 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Alternate footage
0:37:49: When Snow talks to Shaw when he follows Emilie and agent Hock, the UR shows him looking at the ground and discovering blood that dropped from Emilie’s leg wound. The PG-13 avoids this by using a different take that focuses on Snow’s face while he talks.
The PG-13 runs 1,12 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



Alternate footage
0:39:47: The view of Emilie’s leg wound is exclusive for UR viewers. The PG-13 shows agent Hock standing up.
The PG-13 runs 1,2 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



0:40:05: 3 frames are missing when Alex fires the gun at the engineer. No explicit details here.
0.12 sec.


Censored audio line
0:41:39: When Snow pushes the convict’s face against the hot metal wall, the sizzling sound of his burning skin is more audible in the UR.
No time difference



0:41:41: Snow pushes the convict’s face against the wall a bit longer and we hear the convict scream in agony.
2.96 sec.



Alternate footage
0:41:49: Several things in one. When the convict rips his face off the metal wall, the PG-13 version is 1.) censored on the audio line, 2.) has more steam in order to hide the blood on the wall and 3.) cut when the bloody part of the head becomes visible.
The UR runs 0.8 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



0:42:15: Snow shoots at the convict.
1.6 sec.



0:42:18: The convict falls a little earlier (just a few frames).
0.2 sec.

0:43:14: Emilie breathes heavily. Pure, intense drama.
3.2 sec.



Alternate footage
0:43:25: Alex shoots the technician in both versions. However, the UR shows this onscreen. The PG-13 cuts away early and shows Emilie and agent Hock hearing the shot.
The PG-13 runs 4.16 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



0:46:24: Snow hits the convict in the ventilation shaft.
0.56 sec.



Alternate footage
1:09:01: When Hydell shoots the hostage, he falls to the ground in the UR. The PG-13 cuts away again and shows Emilie a little earlier before she screams into the walkie-talkie.
The UR runs 0.16 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



1:09:38: Just a few more frames as Hydell goes after the hostages with his gun.
0.24 sec.



Alternate footage
1:17:26: After Hydell stabbed his brother Alex in the chest, the amount of blood exiting the wound differs significantly in both versions. Two different takes have been used here.
The PG-13 runs 1.12 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated



1:17:33: When Hydell shoots the other guy in the stomach, the PG-13 cuts away before we see the impact wound.
0.32 sec.



1:18:21: The first frames of Hydell’s face being surrounded by flames have been cut out of the PG-13 version.
0.28 sec.



Alternate footage
1:27:49: When Snow sticks the hot lighter in Shaw’s face, the UR has a longer take of this and also includes a little steam emerging from Shaw’s face. The PG-13 version is more harmless here.
The UR runs 0.52 sec. longer

PG-13Unrated

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