Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Locke

Release date: April 18, 2014 (UK)
Running time: 85 minutes
Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels
Who to see it with: Fans of road trips


Locke is a showcase of Tom Hardy's acting ability. It follows Ivan Locke on a one and a half hour emergency road trip to London. Locke has a great job, happy family, and is well-respected by those around him. All that changes in this slowly-paced, one and a half hour journey. Hardy is given the task of carrying the entire movie. He has help from the various supporting actors who call in to move the story along, but the common thread through all those conversations is Hardy. There are a few monologues, and they're inserted to give you a little more insight into Locke's past. 

Much like Locke's character--an even-keeled, respected, non-risk taker--the movie moves along at a steady, if slightly slow pace. Throughout the film, Locke talks about having to stay at the speed limit and it feels like the film does the same. Hardy embraces the character of Ivan Locke, and plays him perfectly, but it's not amazingly interesting to watch an unemotional, reserved person talk for 85 minutes. The character is fascinating at first, and he's such a different person from what you'd normally see (I was surprised by how interested I was in his talk of the intricacies of construction and concrete), but over time I wanted him to progress. I guess it's a testament to Hardy's acting chops that the few times Locke does get pushed to the edge, the sheer surprise hits you, but those moments are few and far between. For the most part, other people seem to be emotionally reacting around a cold, calm Locke. 

Locke is also the definition of low budget. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely shows in the overall product. The entire film takes place in Locke's car, with shots of the freeway and the night road peppering in views of Tom Hardy's head from various angles. You don't see any of the other characters, only hear their voices. Locke doesn't stop or interact in person with anyone else, just moves along on his journey. Plenty happens around him, and it's reflected in the phone calls, but the film itself moves along at a measured, speed limit pace. What saves this film is Hardy's interesting character and pure acting ability. However, it's an interesting film where not much happens.  

Rent it.

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