Film Review – Locke (2013)

Locke - post

Title – Locke (2013)

Director – Steven Knight (Hummingbird)

Cast – Tom Hardy, (voices of) Olivia Colman, Tom Holland, Ruth Wilson

Plot – Construction manager Ivan Locke (Hardy) finds himself alone in his car on a road to a life changing decision. The night plays out with Locke often on the phone to either his family or those dependent on him at work as Locke himself deals with these decisions that will alter his course in this world.

“I want to know that I’m not driving in one direction”

Review by Eddie on 8/09/2014

For Locke’s true power as a film to sink in you will need a few days to sit and ponder upon its small yet intricate construction, for in a film that is set almost entirely within the confines of one man’s car, Locke deals with many an issue and does so by uncorking a powerhouse Tom Hardy performance and a downright believable script by Brit Steven Knight who here makes up for his dreary directing debut Hummingbird.

There will be many out there that have no time for Locke due to its setup and in a way this is not an unjust decision by them, for Locke requires much of you as a viewer and does not look to find a way around this. Not perhaps since Ryan Reynolds found himself in a tight situation in Rodrigo Cortes 2010 film Buried has a film relied so heavily on the audience to bear with it and a performer to hold our attention with nothing more than a phone (or Bluetooth) to act alongside with. Locke’s tightly focussed pacing and realistic scripting are both hugely successful but it’s in the performance of Hardy that the film finds its true power and ability to stick with you days after release.

Oft cast as the hulking or manic presence within a film as seen in any of Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises or Bronson, Hardy here is a steely, at times inwardly reserved Ivan Locke, a man whose world is crumbling around him despite being sheltered by his luxury ride. Playing Locke with a welsh accent and with a vulnerability within his eyes, Hardy showcases a rarely displayed side to his acting talents that Knight uncovers to great effect. Whether Locke is demanding or pleading, Hardy is in control even though his character is slowly but surely crumbling from within. It’s one of the year’s best acting turns, unflashy yet utterly commanding, Hardy achieves more with a single look than some actors do within an entire role. It’s worth also mentioning the voice work (the only other people you will hear during the entire movie, no one else is ever seen) of the cast here in Locke, from Olivia Colman through to The Impossible’s Tom Holland as Locke’s son Eddie, all voice performers give soul to the voices we hear on the phone.

A movie to be watched in the tightest surrounds available to you, Locke isn’t an easy watch due to its setting and not a movie made for overall public consumption. Locke is however an incredibly smart and well-constructed film that is the perfect showcase for the increasing acting prowess of Tom Hardy, an actor that continues to stake a claim as one of, if not the most interesting and diverse performers in the business today.

4 Bluetooth calls out of 5

26 responses to “Film Review – Locke (2013)

  1. Good review Eddie. Honestly, it was all up to Hardy here to make this movie the least bit interesting every second he got a chance to do so and he totally doesn’t let us down. He’s compelling for just about the whole movie.

  2. Loved this movie.. as it was incredible to me how a movie about a guy just driving home from work could suck me in like that! I saw it some months ago and just had to re-watch as it came out on VOD & once sucked me right back in. One of the few performances so far this year that I think definitely deserves an Oscar nod for sure.Hardy WAS the movie..and without that really good performance, not sure it would have worked. and you’re right also, in that it’s not going to be for everyone and that’s something I noted in my review also! 😀

    • I would love to see him get some awards recognition for this role, sadly with the low key release of the film I can’t see that happening. He is just such a power performer, it’s great watching his career grow.

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    • This was a great flick mate, anyone not convinced of Hardy’s talent should check it out.

      In regards to your question of recent times I would say Calvary or Starred Up or perhaps even Enemy. In a general sense perhaps Brick or A Prophet.

      • He’s amazing & I’m further impressed with him each time I see another movie. He’s recognizable and yet disappears into characters in an unusual way, a little bit of chameleon work there but he seems to go so hard into the character that he believes it and we believe it. I weirdly enjoyed watching this man’s normally boring life unravel during his drive. Quite the feat!

  4. Hey Boys, I wanted to recommend Steven Knight’s British TV series, Peaky Blinders, if you’re not on it already.
    It’s really well put together and the second series has the mighty Tom Hardy in it.
    Nice review as always.

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