Locke Movie Review
Would you like to be stuck in a car with Bane for an hour and a half? If so, Steven Knight's new movie Locke is for you. Starring Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Locke is a surprisingly well done movie that features one onscreen actor, a car and lots of phone conversations. But, like with any nighttime car ride, your mind will begin to wander.
Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a by-the-numbers foreman who has abandoned his job on the eve of one of the largest construction projects Europe has ever seen. Over the span of ninety minutes, bound by a perceived duty, he attempts to keep his life in order even as it disintegrates around him.
Well made and superbly acted, Locke defies the physical limitations of the story to be, at times, deeply engaging, if not downright entertaining. Though the voice cast is great, the movie understandably rests squarely on the shoulders of Hardy. And Hardy delivers. His character is frustratingly righteous despite the transgression he committed to get him into the mess at hand; his calm demeanor defies the franticness just beneath the surface. His character is a paradox, and Hardy embodies the paradox extremely well.
The screenplay, written by Knight (Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things), is terrific. As good as Hardy is, the screenplay cannot be overlooked. Many movies have tried the single setting approach and failed; Locke is better than most.
Nonetheless, the movie doesn't always work. The segments where Locke speaks with his dead father do not work; they play more like filler to pass the time. And as Knight captures the essence of a nighttime "road trip" by flashing to street lights and traffic to keep the onscreen imagery interesting, so too does he capture the trance-inducing qualities of such an excursion. Your mind begins to wander, and Locke begins to lag as the concept outstays its welcome.
Locke is not a movie for everyone, but if you're looking for something a little different, it is worth the ride.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.