Someone unfamiliar with the upcoming thriller Locke might be under the assumption that someone thought it was a good idea to make an immediate sequel to last year’s dud Getaway. But let those dark fears be quelled, as this is the sophomore directorial effort from Redemption’s Stephen Knight. What you may be able to tell from the film’s first trailer seen above is that this is as much Tom Hardy’s film as it is Knight’s, as Hardy’s Ivan Locke is the only character you see in the film. Note that this doesn’t mean he’s followed around by CGI cats or anything. It’s just him and his phone, and the many voices on the other end.
I cannot wait to watch this flick, as word was very, very good after its debut at the Venice Film Festival last September. But such a moody conversation-driven film is not entirely equipped to fill the time span of this trailer, via ScreenRant. So someone made the genius (though not novel) idea to use the stream of positive blurbage to fill the gaps between different angles of Hardy’s face. Reading things like "one of the most nail-biting thrillers of the year," "exceptional," and "hypnotic" are highly reassuring for a film whose point isn’t at all inferable from the footage shown.
And just in case your blurb quota wasn’t met already, here’s the film’s braggadocious first poster.
In the film, Ivan is an ordinary man with a seemingly perfect life taking a 90-minute road trip from Birmingham to Croydon. But instead of just listening to the radio or catching up on some podcasts, Ivan spends most of his time on the phone coping with different crises that present themselves all at once. A work-related call sets him up with a dilemma that could challenge one of the biggest jobs he could ever hope for, and a more personal call puts his family life at risk, and is itself the reason for the lengthy drive (Many reviews of the film went into more detail than that, but I prefer to be vague).
While films like Buried and Phone Booth reached varying degrees of success with the limited character narrative, Locke looks like a more invested drama because it doesn’t seem to be setting itself up for a twist ending or a big murder. It’s just a man having to deal with high amounts of stress while behind the wheel of an object that could kill him if his emotions completely take over.
As the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Dirty Pretty Things, Knight last gave audiences the intriguing stories behind last year’s Closed Circuit and his directorial debut Redemption. We’ll see if Locke is his most critically acclaimed film yet when the film drives through theaters talking on the phone on April 25th.