Locke is an ambitious film that never captivated me in the way I had hoped. Steven Knight’s feature focuses on a man named Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), a successful construction engineer that finds himself facing all of his life’s problems on one night. He is driving to meet a woman that he had an affair with since she is given birth to a child they conceived; he’s calling his wife and kids to let them know he won’t be there for the soccer game they’re supposed to watch (and letting his wife finally know about his lovechild); and he’s working out deals on the phone for a construction plan he has starting at 5:30 the next morning. The biggest problem I have with Locke is that the central character’s conflict is not convincing enough. We don’t see any supporting characters and the story cycles through the phone calls with predictability. There’s not a single shred of emotional detail that is not expected, despite an interesting twist on the fact that Locke’s father was never there for him. I admire what Knight attempts to do with the film, but I felt it was unengaging and monotonous.
Grade: ★★½ (out of 5)