Listen To Your Body!

Locke (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
2½ Out Of 5 Stars
April 25, 2014

GET TO THE POINT BEN!

Everything, and everyone, tells me I should love this movie and all its miraculousness … my body said otherwise. 

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On the eve of a major construction project, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) receives a phone call that turns his world upside down and makes him view life in a completely different way.  He’s forced to now deal with this while putting together a major project at work, supervising employees, dealing with vendors, etc.  His family, his job, his overall psyche, his health and well being are ALL now in jeopardy!

Now here’s the kicker …

Locke has made his decision about this major event in the early part of the story shortly after we meet him.  So to follow through with this decision, he has to get in the car and drive a long distance away (over the course of the evening and much of the night) to meet with and console another character.  It’s going to take awhile to get to this destination, so it’s going to be a long car ride there.  So, we find out about all of these events, his life, what he’s going to do, the state of his family, will they make it through, his job, all of it pans out and unravels over the course of this car ride.  Yup, Locke gets the call, gets in the car, and we find out everything through phone calls from various characters introduced and only known through their voices as Locke converses with each one in phone calls all throughout the car ride for the duration of the film.

Simple yet complex at the same time, just how I like it!  My favorite movie of all time is of a similar structure, so I was estatic to discover this story’s structure while viewing, but this one takes the “simple” part of things and makes it even more “simple”. 

Yeah it’s cool to hear it packs a punch when you hear what it’s about, a pretty neat concept, everyone including the theater usher who introduced the film right before you saw it even said it was SO AMAZING, simple yet complex, your favorite movie ever is like that Ben, yada yada yada …

… I almost fell asleep!

COULD. NOT. GET. IN. TO. THIS!

With my favorite film there are other actors in the same room interacting.  But with this film it’s one actor in a room talking to people you can’t see.  So it takes a challenge and the “simple yet complex” concept a step further than my favorite film.  But the “simple” darn near put me to sleep.  I liked the concept, but couldn’t keep engaged and was waiting for it all to be over.  I’m talking I was SERIOUSLY fighting to stay awake! 

I went to a later curtain time after work on a weeknight, finally got through the 85 minute run time (when 90 or close to it is the standard bare minimum run time for a feature film now a days), went home, took a shower, made dinner, watched some of my shows, got some reading done before bed, …. I was up!  For a good couple of hours before I went to bed in fact.  Word of advice to anyone wanting to truly measure the quality of a film, listen to your body! 

I wanted to get into it.  I loved the concept.  Tom Hardy is challenging himself as an actor and successfully (including his performance here) pushing away from “tough guy” roles.  Can’t wait to see him as Elton John!  Locke was like an acting class for all us actors thanks to Hardy, seriously!  The dialogue was cleverly written as I could tell his relationship with his son was that of a close one.  I really liked how things slowly and properly unraveled and all parties involved reacted to the news and events in the time of manner that they probably would have in real life.  Locke talking with his wife, his wife reacting, hanging up the phone to take in the shock, Locke calling back to only reach the son, his son wondering what’s wrong with Mom, his other son too busy playing a video game to know what’s going on, all found out through sound design of a phone call we hear to witness and experience this.  Time going by and Locke calling his job to follow up what happened since the last call to let Mom cool down, talking to his employers and Mom now calling back, all of the arranging of events, I REALLY liked the pacing and the believability of this story!  On paper, logic, all the pointers, everything tells me to point my rating on the side of “amazing”. 

My body said otherwise. 

Locke
Drama, 85 Minutes, R
Written & Directed by: Steven Knight
Cast: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson

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