Locke – 5 stars

 

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My first thought before watching Locke was of Hitchcock’s Rope, a film remembered more for the gimmick of no cuts than its merit. With an entire film consisting of hands free cell phone conversations from a car, I was primed to evaluate how the director handled such a limited visual scope. It’s a testament to the film that 10 minutes in, I never once gave another thought to that limitation. Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a precise, obsessive construction manager, and on the eve of his greatest work triumph, his personal and professional lives implode, a disaster made worse by his determination to do one thing above all others. As he travels to his destination, he attempts to cobble together the fragments of his shattered life while figuratively sparring with the ghost of his deceased father in the backseat. Hardy, who seems to get every plum role these days, goes a good way to explaining why here. He is riveting and he expands his physical constrictions, evoking desperation, skill and even some gallows humor in the process. This is an audacious, confident second feature by writer director Stephen Knight, who I am pleased to report is writing the forthcoming World War Z 2.

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