Film Review: Tom Hardy Drives for His Life in Minimalist Thriller ‘Locke’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The de facto dazzle of isolated survival movies, regardless of their special effects, comes from pulling off their most impressive practical stunt: envisioning yet deconstructing high stakes drama with alternative spare plot resources, while featuring only a few on-screen characters, if even more than two. Though it entails Tom Hardy taking phone calls while safely driving at night on the highway (and if we’re talking straight arc, it’s only that), “Locke” is a movie that continues minimalism’s deconstruction of the large scope expectations audiences have for their thrill rides. Here is your car, here is its driver, these are his stakes, now go. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This renegade concept from writer/director Steven Knight begins with a striking, poetic occupation for its title character. Hardy’s Ivan Locke is a man who deals with the precise fortitude of concrete. He is a self-professed stealer of the sky, a man who has become trusted with not just hundreds of millions of dollars, but the lives that will soon occupy his buildings. They, like the rest of the world, expect that no miscalculations regarding concrete proportions will be made, as the wrong amount could lead to cracks, which could cause everything to collapse.

Such an immediacy is directly parallel to the other passion of Locke’s life, his family. As revealed in the film’s beginning, Ivan has made his own mistake, going to bed months ago with a lonely woman named Bethan (voiced by Olivia Colman). Now, he must tell his wife Katrina (voice of Ruth Wilson) why he can’t come home after work - he is driving to another city to be with Bethan as she gives birth to their baby, as his father never was for him. With his mind cleared by choosing what is right more than what is good or bad, Ivan converses with different characters from his life, trying to fix everything while trapped inside his own nightmare.

“Locke” opens in Chicago on May 2nd. Featuring Tom Hardy and the voices of Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, and Tom Holland. Written and directed by Steven Knight. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Nick Allen’s full review of “Locke”

Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy as the title character in ‘Locke’
Photo credit: A24 Films

StarContinue reading for Nick Allen’s full review of “Locke”

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