LOCKOUT's Luc Besson Found Guilty of Plagiarizing ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK French filmmaker Luc Besson has been ordered to pay Hollywood's self-styled "Master of Horror" John Carpenter nearly half a million dollars for plagiarising his classic 1981 movie Escape from New York, court documents revealed Friday. The director of The Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita had denied that his 2012 film Lockout copied the cult futuristic thriller in which New York's Manhattan island is a giant prison that has been overrun by its inmates. Kurt Russell plays a government agent-turned-convict who goes inside to rescue the US president after his plane crash-lands there. An appeals court in Paris ruled that Lockout had "massively borrowed key elements" of the earlier movie, according to a judgement put online Friday by BFMTV. Critics have long pointed to the uncanny parallels between the two films. In Lockout, Guy Pearce plays a wrongly convicted man who is offered his freedom if he can free the US president's daughter from a jail in outer space which its violent prisoners have taken over. Carpenter had demanded 2.2 million euros in damages ($2.4 million). Last year the court found in his favor and ordered Besson, his Europacorp production company and his co-writers to pay a total of 85,000 euros to Carpenter, his co-writer Nick Castle and StudioCanal, which holds the rights to Escape from New York. Besson appealed, with his spokesman telling AFP that the judgment was a "block on artistic freedom". But the appeal court disagreed, increasing the damages more than five-fold to 450,000 euros. Its judges said there was a long line of similarities between the films. The heroes of both "got into the prison by flying in a glider/space shuttle, had to confront inmates led by a chief with a strange right arm, found hugely important briefcases and meet a former sidekick who then dies". "And at the end (of both films the heroes) keep secret documents recovered during their mission," the judgement added. French producer Luc Besson Found Guilty of Plagiarising John Carpenter's Action Classic 'Escape from New York'