Tom Hardy driving home while talking on the phone. Sounds fascinating, right? Well, that’s Locke in a nutshell. Construction foreman Ivan Locke is driving home to be with his wife and kids when a mistake comes back to haunt him.
The entire movie takes place in Ivan’s car which understandably might sound boring to some people. And I’m happy to say that it isn’t. What Locke does really well is keeping your attention and making you excited for what phone call happens next. That’s why it’s such a shame that Locke’s biggest problem has nothing to do with its biggest feat.
Everything that happens to Ivan is because of a mistake he made. That’s perfectly fine, everybody makes mistakes. But when a normal person makes a big mistake like Ivan, they usually show some emotion during this time. Not Ivan. For some reason director Steven Knight kept a great actor like Tom Hardy restrained throughout most of the movie.
Tom Hardy is strangely calm here. Considering the matter at hand, wouldn’t you expect him to feel anger, guilt, sadness or something? Instead, Ivan came off pretty relaxed. You could say he’s confused with everything happening at once, but then you would be telling me that a guy whose entire life got turned upside down wouldn’t be a little upset.
That’s not to say that Tom Hardy is emotionless here, he’s just really tame for somebody who’s going through so much. Because of this, I just didn’t care too much about Ivan. If I truly got the sense that he was regretful over his actions, I would really care for the guy. Instead I don’t, and that means I didn’t really care about the one man in a one man show.
The movie is entertaining though. The idea of staying in one setting for an entire movie (especially a car) sounds boring as hell, but there was never much of a dull moment in Locke. There are these unneeded conversations involving Ivan’s dad and as the movie went on some phone calls had a “been there, done that” redundancy to them, but the movie was well written enough to keep me wanting to know what happens next. Whenever that phone rang, it was exciting to see what plotline was going to progress.
It’s such a shame Locke didn’t reach its true potential. I love the idea of this movie so much, but it truly sucks to see the only visible actor in the movie have such a restrain. If Steven Knight let Tom Hardy loose a bit then this would be a truly great film.