directed by Steven Knight
I suppose he had it in him all along, it just took nearly 50 shit kicking LBs of intimidate-the-pee-out-of-your-bladder muscle to get me to pay attention. But my attention Tom Hardy now has, now and forevermore. Since his career defining performance (to date, that is, for I am sure he has a fair few like that in him) in Bronson, Hardy has been bringing the heat to virtually every role he has taken on (let’s all continue to block This Means War from our collective memories like some sort of trauma). And he rises to quite a tall order as the titular Ivan Locke, a concrete man whose life unravels over the course of a 90 minute car ride. Quite literally, the film follows Locke (Hardy is the only actor seen in the film) as he sits in the driver’s seat of his BMW, making phone calls, blowing his nose and making the occasional lane change. It sounds about as riveting as a ham sandwich, and most of the time, a movie such as this would be nothing more than a gimmick film, a ploy to gain some undeserved attention, for gimmick films like this almost always fall short in terms of content. But in Steven Knight’s (Eastern Promises, Peaky Blinders) deft hands, Locke’s story is at once compelling and fresh. I found myself fully invested in each moment, which is a testament to Knight’s writing as much as it is Hardy’s wonderful performance. Locke is a prime example of effortless, simple, organic storytelling and what wonders we can achieve when we cut away the fat of contemporary classicist excess.