Film Review : Locke (2014)

IMDB Score – 7.2
Rotten Tomato Score – 88%

Directed By – Steven Knight
Starring – Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, and Ben Daniels

Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.

I kind of want to go out and buy a BMW now. They look like they’re comfortable to drive and the whole scroll dial is pretty awesome. Yes, I realize this is a film blog and that I’m talking about a car, but Locke could really double as an 85 minute BMW commercial. The film was shot entirely in the car with Tom Hardy being the only actor to appear on screen. I’ve tackled films like this before. I actually find them supremely interesting due to the fact that the writer has to make an interesting film that takes place in only one place. Locke may actually be the most unique due to the fact that Tom Hardy never gets out of the car and there are literally no action scenes. The entire film is constructed around phone calls that our main and only character has with various people in his life. It was marketed as a thriller or at least that is how I took it, but let me assure you, this is not a thriller. This is a one man play and it’s played beautifully by Tom Hardy.

Locke has made a decision and he’s going to stick to it. The film centers around his decision to drive out to London after work in order to be with somebody. This decision is one that threatens to lose him his job and family but Ivan Locke is a good man and he feels this is the right thing to do. The theme of the film seems to be morality and what is the difference between a good and a bad thing. Do good actions made after bad decisions right the ship? I know that in my experience, it can go both ways. I’ve made mistakes before in my life and had to work extremely hard to fix them. Some things are unfixable. I’ve also had problems seemingly disappear on me as if they have never happened. Ivan Locke is a man who likes to take the practical approach to solve his problems. He’s one of the most respected and reliable men at his construction job. He’s the one people can trust because he’s going to do the job right every single time. What happens when that kind if person hurts somebody thought? The film dances around these questions and tries to find some sort of an answer that for me at least, never really came. Life isn’t that structured and Locke figures this out by the end of the film.

Fresh off his memorable role in The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy, who looks much skinnier than his Bane character, pretty much knocked this one out of the park. I’ve been reading critic reviews that claim that it’s one of the better performances of the last couple years and I’m inclined to agree. The film was shot over six days in which Hardy had to recite the entire film twice a night. The actors who engage with him on the phone are really doing so in a hotel room and Hardy drives along the highway with cameras trained on him. It’s a fascinating way to make a movie but you really need that strong performance to pull it all together. Hardy did just that. His range of emotions was on full display and he really was able to sell this character as being a genuine person. Locke is a brutally honest man and Hardy was able to portray that with eye movement that didn’t come off false. There were a couple scenes involving his father that seemed a bit out of place but they were needed for back story and I was able to shrug them off.

The film overall held my attention and was able to keep me very intrigued the whole way through. Tom Hardy should, but probably won’t, get recognition for this role. It may actually be his best yet. Actually, no, Charlie Bronson can’t be matched. It’s just too good. The film is shot gorgeously in the night as well and the script ws pretty solid and fluid. It was a good watch. I’d recommend it.

4/5


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3 thoughts on “Film Review : Locke (2014)

  1. Good review. If Hardy wasn’t compelling in the least bit, then this movie would be shite. But thankfully, he’s great and therefore, so is the movie.

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