LOCKE (2014)


DALLAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (2014)

locke Greetings again from the darkness. Most movies that take place within a confined space are outright thrillers that usually take full advantage of helpless and claustrophobic feelings and desperate actions. Think back to Duel, Phone Booth and Buried. A ticking clock and lack of a safe escape route had us sweating bullets with Dennis Weaver, Colin Farrell and Ryan Reynolds. This entry from the Dallas International Film Festival takes a much different approach.

Noted British writer Steven Knight also directs this one, and rather than nail-biting tension, we get a pretty interesting character study. Mr. Knight has written some impressive screenplays: Dirty Pretty Things, Amazing Grace, and Eastern Promises. Utilizing every ounce of his writing expertise, he keeps us connected to Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) as he drives on the freeway with intermittent rain being his biggest physical obstacle. There are no high speed chases. No stunts. No weapons. Ivan is not being followed by a spy, a hit man or anyone else. He is merely driving and talking on the phone via Bluetooth.

In what could be considered the ultimate film gimmick, Tom Hardy is the only actor to appear on screen. His Ivan Locke is not just the only major character. He is the ONLY one. All supporting work and conflict is provided by a multitude of voices on the other end of a phone call. There is no need for me to delve into the story or the plot, but you should know that the situation Ivan finds himself in is not some creative web of criminal deceit … instead it’s his penance for one poor decision. That poor decision has him in a tough spot with very poor timing.

For those that wonder if Bane from The Dark Knight Rises has the acting chops to hold our attention, a reminder of Tom Hardy’s fine and varied work should alleviate concerns: Warrior, Inception, Lawless, Bronson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He can act and he can make a character his own, just as he does with Ivan Locke.

watch the trailer:

 

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2 Responses to LOCKE (2014)

  1. John Raymond (Ray) Peterson says:

    I am so looking forward to this one David. I have seen each of the movies you mention and a few more of his; with the exception of ‘This Means War’ which script/story did not inspire much, I liked, no loved his performances.
    He’s a different character in all of them and the range is impressive. After I saw an interview of Steven Knight about this movie yesterday, learned of Tom Hardy’s role I knew I had to see it.
    For good measure, I looked for your review; yes, confirmed, I will see it.

    • Hi Ray, you are very kind in your words for “This Means War”. That’s a tough one to watch! This latest is a change of pace from most movies today and pretty unique in it’s “one man show” approach. No cheap thrills or over the top action … just one guy dealing with a stressful moment and facing his own internal demons.

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