Starring: Tom Hardy
Directed By: Steven Knight
You might have already heard from one of your pretentious cinema friends that Locke is mindblowingly amazing, and you’re stupid if you don’t like it. Look, this isn’t my first “one person, one location” movie, but it’s been done better before. More importantly, the stakes have been higher before. Ryan Reynolds in Buried is a much better example of how to do a one person film. Locke isn’t a bad film, but it’s more of a testament to Tom Hardy’s acting than it is anyones abilities as a filmmaker or screenwriter.
What I actually enjoyed about Locke was seeing Tom Hardy vulnerable. So often, Hardy is stuck in these tough guy roles. He was Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, he was an MMA fighter in Warrior, a spy in This Means War, and he kicked a lot of butt in other movies too (Lawless, Inception, etc). He does this because he’s ripped. But here, he plays an extremely average guy who is going through an above average situation. He got some random girl pregnant, and he’s driving to her for the birth instead of being with his family, or preparing tomorrows presentation at work. At the top of the film, he’s composed, and he tells everyone that he’s trying to do the right thing here. He fucked up. He got this girl pregnant, and no they are not in love. But, he’s going to be a stand up guy, and be there for this kid. Nobody else really cares, and his life crumbles around him through a series of phone calls while he’s in the car driving. The film is basically shot in real time, so he makes a LOT of phone calls.
Again, Tom Hardy is the reason to watch the film, not the film itself. It’s a different role for Hardy, and with the focus thrown completely at him, he does a good job with it. I still think his performance in Warrior was more powerful, and there are far too many “best actor” contenders this year for Hardy to be seriously considered. It ends up being a good, not great, film that is mostly bolstered by its star.
FINAL GRADE: B