Monday, August 17, 2015

Movie Review: "Locke" (2014)

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Director: Steven Knight
Year: 2014
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction manager who must take an emergency drive to London where his child is about to be born. It is also the eve of the biggest job in the company's history, but he must be there for his new baby. He also must tell his wife why he won't be coming home this night to watch the football match with his family.  

At the end of each year, we recap our personal favorite movies of the year, as do others on the internet, Instagram, and beyond. "Locke" had A LOT of hype behind it, some even going as far as saying this film was snubbed for awards. We were anxious to see this movie, obviously because of the hype.

There is one physical person in this film: Tom Hardy. Tom Hard drives in the car for an hour and twenty-five minutes talking on the phone to various different people. Hardy, who plays Ivan Locke, is the only actor to appear on camera for the duration of the movie. This of course means Tom Hardy carries the whole film visually, and the entire success or failure of it is contingent upon his performance and the dialogue crafted by the screenwriter. Ivan talks to his co-worker and his bosses, as well as those he needs to speak with to get the job done right. His life has been only ever been concrete, and the job being done on this night of drive is the single most important "pour" in his company's history. He talks to the woman who is having his child, which was the result of a one night stand many months prior. She is nervous and has no one else to be there for her and Ivan wants to do the right thing. This is noble, especially when considering his father wasn't there for him and he was born in a similar fashion as well. Unfortunately, the plot thickens, and whatever goodness we think might be there quickly dissipates when he also must speak to his wife, finally come clean about what happened months ago, and tell her what is happening now to cause his absence on the night of a huge football match. Locke also has conversations with his son, who is a bit confused about what is going on and why his mom is upset. These scenes are, of course, very emotional. It comes down to a single decision, and in an effort to do the right thing, he hurts a lot of people and himself in the process. Since this film only takes place in one car, it can move a little slow, though director Steven Knight plays with the lighting, the closeness, and the angles very well to keep things interesting and fresh. The dialogue is good, and it better be since it's all the movie has to sell itself, apart from Hardy and a couple of voice actors, who were all in the same hotel room together during the shooting for the film (a cool trivia tidbit thanks to IMDb). Tom Hardy is very good, as always, and has a calm subtlety in his performance as he tries to keep level head through an emotional roller coaster of situations. His accent is also on point, too. All the actors providing the voices on the other end of the phone do a good job in conveying their emotions only through voice, and when put together with Hardy's performance, the result is not too bad. The idea of a movie like this is an interesting concept and was compelling enough to hold our attention through one sitting, but it's not the type of film we could watch more than once and it definitely won't be everybody's cup of tea. Maybe it's because of the aforementioned hype, but we felt a bit let down by this movie, which seems more gimmicky than anything else. This is not to say it's terrible, but it's just not as fantastic as we were expecting.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

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