Phwoaar. Now this is a movie. Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a concrete farmer, a man who pours concrete and not only that, he that he might just be the best God-damned concrete farmer on the planet on his way home to his loving family before the biggest commercial pour in European history. Then he receives a call.
The call is from a one night stand who has gone into labour, and Locke being the man he is wants to be there for the birth. Locke isn’t a man who does things the easy way, he is a man who does things the right way, the most honourable way and outside of the initial adultery, this is exactly what he does. Though it might cost him his wife, family and job.
Locke is a morality play staged inside a car on a motorway, and other than a brief scene at the beginning this is the only location in the whole film. You may think this sounds boring but that’s where you would be wrong, this is the film’s greatest strength. Leaving us alone with Tom Hardy, who, for the last few years, has been one of the most magnetic presences on screen is a great creative decision.
Hardy might actually be the most arresting actor to grace the silver screen this decade. I can’t think of anyone who draws my attention as much as he does. Or even if he isn’t, he’s good enough to make me comprehensively forget his competition. He’s obviously very prominent as Bane in the Dark Knight Returns and explosive in Bronson. These are big roles and it takes some chops to fill them, but it was his role in Inception that really tweaked my nipples. It was such an understated part, but I was compelled. And found him by far the most interesting on screen and I am new convert to the Church of DiCaprio.
So, for me, it seems like an obvious thing to do: just throw a camera on Hardy and let him to his thing. What is particularly great about Locke is that he’s just a normal man. Well, normal in that he works in construction and has a wife and two kids and fucks things up a bit by messing around with another woman (which in itself is down to the fact he is a decent person, misguided perhaps but definitely decent) but he is extraordinary in how he deals with the situation.
In fact my only misgivings about the film is that it gives a bit too much away, I don’t really want or need to hear the characters on the other end of the phone as he tries to sort out the mess he has gotten into and I really didn’t want to see him talking to the memory ghost of his father. Though watching, the very interesting, commentary and ‘making of docs’ its completely understandable but to me that’s what stands in the way of what could be outstanding 10/10 movie to one that is bloody good 8.5/10, though if that had been the case no one would have watched it.
Locke is out on DVD now