Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Locke

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! What if Ivan Locke locked his keys in his car?  Locke would be locked out!  Ha!  I'm sorry for that.




Locke – 4 out of 5

Having a story take place all in a very specific locale can be a hard thing to do.  The audience might get bored seeing the same locale for the entire story and may need an explosion to help shake things up—but the explosion will ruin the locale and change the entire dynamic of the original idea.  Sometimes setting a film in a single place can be pretty cool and the final product is really good—like Buried with Ryan Reynolds.  The film took place entirely in a grave and it was a very intense film—especially for dudes who suffer from claustrophobia, like me.  Locke, on the other hand, takes place entire in a car.  Is it a great ride filled with comfort and convenience and extra large cup holders to hold my Mega-Icee from the gas station or is it a dry boring ride on a bumpy rode on a hot day with no A/C and the Mega-Icee has the bladder filled to bursting and the next rest stop is 20 miles away?
"Alright, I got my all One Direction mix tape and I'm ready to ride!"
 
Well, you already know the answer to that one because you saw the score…
That's the same look I have every day on my drive to and from work.
 
Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction foreman with a huge job coming in the morning but he’s at an impasse and has made a decision that will come with a cost.  After a night of infidelity, Locke has impregnated another woman and she is going to have the baby in London.  Trying to do what is right for the child, he decides to drive all night to be with the new mother and meet his new baby but the decision will cost him the life he once knew.
Also, he blows his nose at one point.
 
When I first read that Locke would take place entirely in a car and focus almost exclusively on Tom Hardy behind the wheel, I was like, “Shut up, is this true?”  Then, after the article I was reading magically became a real boy and told me that what I was reading was true before suddenly reverting back to article form while screaming, “NO!  Don’t let me go back.  I just found a taste for life and I want to live.”  After talking to several people over what I just witnessed and, thankfully, avoided being thrown into a padded cell, I patiently waited for my opportunity to see Locke.
It would be amusing if an edit of this film existed with all of Locke's lines done
in the Bane voice.
 
There’s no point in beating around the bush—let’s just plow our way through that bush (it was ugly anyway and didn’t go with the rest of the landscape)—Locke has all the potential to be very, very boring.  You know the monotony of driving alone without a working radio and you’re forced to just stare into the madness that is the brake lights of everyone in front of you—that could have been this movie.  Thankfully, writer/director Steven Knight brought in some story that unfolds through nothing but speakerphone phone calls—and, somehow, not a single one of the people on the other end said, “Am I on speakerphone?  Get me off speakerphone.”
"Sir, I understand that you are frustrated but OnStar can't deliver a beer to you."
 
Even with the presence of an unfolding story told through phone calls, Locke could have easily been boring because, at the end of the day, you’re just watching a dude doing some hands-free calling.  However, it never got boring.  The film was actually very enthralling as you watch Locke try to achieve balance where balance is almost impossible.  He spends the drive trying to get to his illegitimate son, talking down his wife, trying to discuss the soccer game with his son, and deal with his job that he’s on the verge of losing.  The movie is filled with drama and this drama is addicting to watch and carried out with ultra-amazing performances from those on the other end of the phone and a absolutely incredible performance from Tom Hardy behind the wheel.
Oh fuck!  Drive faster!  J. J. Abrams is behind you!
 
Tom Hardy is an awesomely talented actor—there’s no denying it but the way he brought the drama to life in Locke and did it all while driving behind the wheel was truly amazing.  I don’t mean, “Aw, kewl, he was able to act and drive at the same time.” No, I mean he made this look convincing as hell.  You’re not seeing Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke dealing with personal drama while driving to his baby mama’s delivery room; you are watching Locke deal with his personal drama while driving to his baby mama’s delivery room.  Hardy engrosses himself in the role and it comes off as a believable tale of a man put in an impossible scenario.  I’ve never used the phrase “a tour de force” in my reviews because I always thought that sounded like some extremely tough bike race that involved American Gladiators chasing Lance Armstrong-looking guys on a winding trail but I think that phrase applies to Locke and Tom Hardy’s acting.
"That dude is mooning me...people still do that?"
 
While Locke might initially come off like a gimmick thanks to the film taking place entire behind the wheel of a BMW that I will never, in my lifetime, be able to afford, the final product is a great tale of drama with an absolutely breath-taking performance from Tom Hardy.
And the movie ends on a cliffhanger as it is revealed that he is on the Highway
to Hell!

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