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He Said, She Said Review Site

Locke

What She said:

She

Spoiler alert! I'll tell you straight away that the movie Locke takes place entirely in this dude's car. I wish someone had told me that ahead of time. For some reason, based on the movie poster of Tom Hardy in the driver's seat burning rubber down a highway, I thought this film would be exciting and action packed. It's not. And I don't know what the critics were thinking in endorsing this one. It's essentially an hour and a half of a pretty unlikable guy driving down the road making phone calls on his bluetooth. It feels more like a PSA for distracted driving than anything else.

Locke

Alright, alright, before I get too ahead of myself, I'll share with you the general premise of the film. Ivan Locke is a construction foreman whose life has just taken an errant turn. He seems to have it all--a fancy car, loving family, booming career--but that all changes when he receives a phone call from Bethan, a woman who he had a one night stand with seven months earlier who is about to give birth to his baby. Ivan describes her as old (she's in her early 40s), unattractive, and pathetic, but he decides that he must be there for Bethan. He's also avenging his own broken relationship with his father by pledging to be a part of the baby's life.

By making that fateful decision he has destroyed his idyllic life. Coworkers call angry that he won't be at work for what is described as the single most important concrete pour outside of military or religion. There's apparently a very large sum of money attached to the job. Forget the fact that Ivan explains that his child is about to be born. They still cuss him out in a major way. Because I guess concrete is just that important (I don't buy it). Ivan is also missing an important soccer game with his family, and this prompts him to confess the truth about the affair and the impending child to his wife Katrina. As you can imagine, she's not thrilled to learn of this. And so we're privileged to many manic phone calls between Ivan and Katrina. In addition, Bethan calls Ivan several times as she's in labor, begging for him to be there and asking for his advice...because she cannot simply ask these questions to the doctors or nurses at the hospital.

It's all just really dumb. And the sad part is that it's not stupid in concept--it's stupid in execution. The work is sloppy, from the dialogue all the way down to the visuals. Case in point: throughout the entire movie, we switch between multiple camera angles--an attempt to keep the singular setting of the car seem interesting. Well, in a misstep that I swear was conceived just to drive me crazy, some camera angles show the driver's side mirror tucked in and others show it out. I found it infuriating because it's not like we see it once or twice. It's throughout the entire movie.

But worst of all is the shoddy writing and dialogue. I honestly couldn't figure out if this film was meant to be a comedy or what. Some of the words that come out of our characters' mouths are so contrived, inauthentic, and flat out stupid that it made me chuckle. Bethan seems like she has about 10 active brain cells left, Donal redefines the word "idiocy", and even Ivan just sounds ridiculous. One of my greatest peeves about Ivan is that he basically just keeps repeating the same sentences over and over: "It will be alright," "I want to know how we can move forward," etc.

Locke

My opinion on Tom Hardy is that sometimes he's decent and other times he's brutal. This performance--if you can call it that--falls on the brutal end of the spectrum. First of all, his accent seemed to change based on who he was talking to (Irish, English, who knows what). Beyond that, he repeatedly expressed himself with this understated, soothing voice, very contrary to how he should actually be reacting. Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Hardy, guidance counselor. That's the odd vibe that he had. As the movie cruise-controlled along, I came to the conclusion that the fella was absolutely batty. And a really, really bad driver.

I don't have much good to say about this film. I guess the concept was decent--the idea of an entire movie set within a car. But I'm annoyed by people who incessantly talk on their cell phones. For me, I could have gotten the same satisfaction watching people chatting away while riding Septa for an hour and a half that I got from Locke

Thumbs down.

Locke

What He said:

He

Yeah, so….I’m just going to put it out there. This entire movie takes place in a car. No, really. Sorry for the spoilers, but I can’t not talk about that and you’re bound to pick up on it anyway (every picture I used for this review is him in a car and you’ll notice he is in a car during the entire trailer too).

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is some kind of architect, engineer, or very high-end construction worker.  Before some guy or gal who does the same thing he does emails me and corrects me, I admittedly do not know exactly what his job title is. What I do know is that he’s in charge or a very large concrete pour for the foundation of a new building. It’s kind of a big deal and it’s happening the next morning.

Locke

One of the things the movie will do is educate you on just how much is involved in a project of this magnitude. Streets have to be closed, permits have to be acquired, and very specific thing s have to be done in order for the building to be sound.

As if that isn’t enough stress, fate decides to step in and offer up a doozy. Bethan (Olivia Colman), a colleague Ivan had an affair with several months back, is about to give birth to their child. That’s right, he knocked her up. The one time he cheats on his wife, he gets the woman pregnant. That is about a big a kick to the balls as one can get from life.
So, what does Ivan decided to do? Drive two hours to be with Bethan and he with her during this stressful time. It’s actually fairly considerate of him considering the situation he got himself into in the first place.

What else does Ivan decided to do that evening? Call his bosses and inform him he will not be there for this historic pour, guide his colleagues via phone through this job, and call his wife and tell her what has happened – and discuss how they can carry on with their marriage going forward. If this all baffles you, that’s ok. It is kind of weird. Granted, it’s sort of nice of him to offer as much help as possible, but it still comes off very weird. It fits his personality though. Ivan is clearly a very intelligent man, but appears to lack some basic emotions and social graces. He’s very similar to Sheldon Cooper. Even when trying to do the right thing (in a bad situation), he comes off as strange, cold, and a little weird.
He spends the remainder of the movie playing phone tag with all the people involved in these events. Yeah, that’s really what happens. He drives in a car and talks to various people on the phone for a few hours.

Locke

Someone actually thought this plot was a good idea. That makes me sad that someone can get paid for that. I get the whole one man show thing. I get the whole “different” approach. I saw a movie called Buried a while back that took a similar approach. That movie was a hell of a lot more interesting, in part, because lives were at stake. It was tense and thrilling. This was not. This was a man having a mid-life crisis, which has potential to be quite interesting, but when a movie consists of a man on a phone in a car for a little under two hours, it’s not exactly the most compelling material ever written. The characters reactions to Ivan’s news was kind of funny, especially one of his coworkers, but overall the movie was flat and boring. There was nothing to get invested in or grab you. There was no tension at all. If this were an olymic sport, it would likely be curling.

Rating: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 5, 2014