This is why I love Cinema
You know, there's a lot of crappy films out there. The young adult genre is a cash cow, and everyone knows it. There's sequel-bait everywhere. 2015 is the year of the remake, and all these films, most of which will likely be bad, will still make more money than most films this year. We complain that Hollywood is running out of ideas, but that's because we're going out and seeing the remakes and the sequels. We just don't want to face this fact. Sometimes, it's hard for me to find reasons to get really excited for cinema. But, every once in a while, a film comes along that reminds me "Oh ya! Hollywood is still awesome. And I love reviewing film." Gravity did it. Whiplash did it. And now Locke has done it. Locke is a masterpiece. I wish I had given this film the light of day back in January, but it was stuck between so many films that I only thought it was great at the time. But now, in between one crappy reboot in Jurassic World and Terminator Genysis, which I am not exactly hopeful for, this film blew me away. This is my second time watching this film, and had I given it the attention it deserved, it would've been my number two film of 2014. That's right.
So, what makes Locke so amazing? Well, it starts with the premise. The film, all 84 minutes of it, is simply Tom Hardy driving and talking on a cell phone. That's it. No cuts to the people he's talking to, just Tom Hardy, a car, and a cell phone. While many films will have a gimmick and it's labeled as such, such as the "found footage" genre or a film like Unfriended being shot entirely from a Skype box, this is not a gimmick. This single view is a major obstacle that requires flawless execution to even have a chance at working. And it didn't work at first: it took about 15 minutes for me to get into it. But I think director Steven Knight knew this. He gives you time to get situated, and right when you think the film is going to be a failure, he hits the accelerator. Suddenly, you start feeling for this man. More than you do for anyone in the vast majority of films out there. This character, brilliantly portrayed by Tom Hardy, emotionally wrecked me. And all he does is talk on his cell phone.
Locke is great because of the gripping, original, and brilliant story, but there are other reasons why this film is perfect. There's some lens flares and work with the cinematography to keep the film from becoming complacent. It does look as interesting as it can visually despite a rainy British night. However, there is also an amazing performance from Tom Hardy. He is forced to carry the movie, and he does so brilliantly. There isn't anything negative to say about this film. Except WHY COULDN'T THIS FILM HAVE BEEN LIKE THREE HOURS LONGER? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS CHARACTER. I know: that's a good complaint to have. A complaint in the highest degree. But it's going to legitimately bother me. Just know this: Locke is original, simple, and an incredible ride. I cannot recommend enough that you take the time to see this film. You'll be thankful you did.
The Critique: A masterpiece of cinema. Stunning, creative, and elegant, Locke creates an intense ride on what should be a handcuff of a pretext because of its simplicity.
The Recommendation: An absolute must-watch. Find a way to see this film. Please. You'll thank me later.
The Verdict: 10/10 Perfect.
Photo Credit: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2014/05/01//1398987130000-SR-Locke.jpg