Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Film Review: Locke (2013)

Locke (Review)
United Kingdom/United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...you can probably get a similar experience to Locke by eavesdropping on phone calls at the airport or mall."

On the eve of his biggest project, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), a successful construction manager, receives a phone call that changes his life...

Locke is a very simple film about a very complex man. The film follows Ivan Locke, a practical family man with a very successful career. Locke receives a phone call from Bethan, a colleague who he had a one-night stand with several months prior. It turns out: she's having his baby. So, despite having a loving family at home and facing a challenging project the next morning, Locke leaves work in Birmingham and heads to London for the birth. Throughout the film, we get into Locke's head, discovering more and more about his complex character. We witness how he speaks to his family, how he handles his work, and how he intends on handling his mistake. It leads to an underwhelming ending – it doesn't resonate.

In fact, Locke as a whole does not resonate. I applaud the film for its one-man, one-setting show – it's impressive. I also appreciate the focus on character. I feel like I know Locke in person, which is pretty impressive. However, in terms of plot, the film didn't really move me. There are tense and compelling moments, but most of the scenes failed to resonate. It's not as suspenseful or thought-provoking as it makes itself out to be. Eventually, you realize you're pretty much listening to a man having several conversations on his phone. Hell, you can probably get a similar experience to Locke by eavesdropping on phone calls at the airport or mall. Character without a strong plot just doesn't work – for me, at least.

Tom Hardy delivers a fantastic performance, though. The plot doesn't do him any favors, but he really gets into this character. His emotion is sincere, delivering each line with the right amount of conviction – never overacting or under-performing. The film was shot well-enough. It's all in one location, so there's not much to say about it. The music was very good, though. The film was written and directed by Steven Knight. Knight crafts a very interesting character, but he places him in a forgettable situation. He gives his character room to grow – or reveal himself – but he doesn't give him room to explore. Knight was able to keep my attention throughout the entire film, but he doesn't conjure much suspense and he doesn't leave an impression.

Overall, Locke is a decent film. In terms of character, Locke is great – especially thanks to Tom Hardy's stellar performance. The plot, however, doesn't offer much for its titular character. It's worth a rental if the 'gimmick' intrigues you and if you'd like to see one of Hardy's best performance.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: There's some language, but it's nothing you haven't heard before.

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