By Megan Bianco
A new trend in the last year of movies has characters stuck in one location the entire film, trying to get out of a predicament. And Steven Knight’s Locke is the latest attempt. Much like how Gravity and All is Lost were tour-de-forces for Sandra Bullock and Robert Redford, respectively, Locke a chance Tom Hardy time to shine. It’s the English character actor’s first film since The Dark Knight Rises two years ago and screenwriter Knight’s second directorial effort.
On the eve of a major business deal for his construction company, manager Ivan Locke (Hardy) skips a job obligation to drive across England to be with a former one-night stand, Bethan (Olivia Colman), while she gives birth to his child. Throughout the long drive, Ivan makes a number of calls to his son Eddie (Tom Holland), wife Katrina (Ruth Wilson) and co-workers Donal (Andrew Scott) and Gareth (Ben Daniels).
Primarily a screenwriter for most of his career, most famously with Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Eastern Promises (2007), Knight’s first directed feature, Redemption, was underwhelming last year. But Locke is a step in the right direction, with the intriguing plot device of keeping Hardy in his moving vehicle the entire 85 minutes of the film and dealing with his problems all through his cell phone. But what could have been suspenseful falls flat with some basic dialogue and a tired relationship trope for the protagonist. But those who are fans of Hardy will appreciate his one man show.