Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Locke - Review

Leaving his office for the night and expected to helm a major construction job the next morning, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) suddenly decides to take a long drive to London and engage in many phone conversations that will shape the course of his life. LOCKE has the unique creative design of being entirely set within the confines of its main character's car; there are no crosscuts, no split-screens, nothing more than what can be seen and/or experienced by its protagonist. The only warmth and presence of outsiders are the fleeting lights of the roadways and the Bluetooth display on the dashboard. Though it is an admirable feat to accomplish for a film, writer-director Steven Knight doesn't totally pull it off. The camerawork and visual design doesn't expand into further interesting angles after the first quarter of the picture and the film's repetitive nature of it taking a small beat, then the next volatile phone call, then another small beat, is frustratingly tedious. But the real deal-breaker is the plot; despite all of the work and family turmoil featured throughout, I simply did not care about any of the bloke's problems. Soaping up the story doesn't make it more dirty, Mr. Knight, but it does make it more flavorless. The only thing that keeps the movie in check and entertaining is Hardy. Stuck with a real-life cold and constantly perturbed that his "sound" advice and requests are falling on deaf ears, he elevates the slim material given to him and delivers a wild, unnerving performance. Every time he said "cement" or "practical steps", I felt like he was going to go further into the deep end and possibly do something heinous. Alas, it never happens but Hardy's great acting does warrant LOCKE a look.


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