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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Locke

August 11th, 2014

Locke - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Locke is a movie starring Tom Hardy as a man driving his car. That's pretty much it. So how can this film be at all interesting? ... He has his cell phone with him. Seriously, one of the reasons I decided to give this movie a try was curiosity. It seemed like a difficult movie to get right, but the reviews are amazing. Do I agree with the critics? If so, how did they manage to get it to work?

The Movie

Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke, whom we meet late at night as he begins his drive home. While waiting at a red light, he becomes lost in thought. When the light turns green and he doesn't notice and the truck behind him starts honking its horn. It is at this point he decides to change direction and drive some place else.

Why? ... I think that might be a spoiler. Seriously. Before the first line of dialogue is spoken, we hit questions I can't answer without spoiling things. The movie focuses on Ivan Locke as he makes his drive from work to wherever it is he is going. He makes several phone calls along the way and talks to people and through these conversations we learn where he is going, why he is going, and how it will affect his life. I can't get into any more detail than that without spoiling things.

So is the movie good? Hell yes. Tom Hardy gives an amazing performance, which should come as no surprise to those who have seen him act before. He carries this movie, just like he carried Bronson, and thanks to his performance, the movie is much more engaging than its plot has any right to be. There's an extended conversation he has about pouring concrete and I was still engaged in the movie. Concrete was made to seem exciting, thanks to the performance. On the other hand, this movie isn't for everyone. The appeal here is equal parts performance and equal parts, "I can't believe they are trying to make a movie like this?" It is a film that will appeal to cinephiles and art house aficionados more than the average moviegoer. I'm not trying to be a film snob here, lord knows I like a lot of low brow stuff. However, I watch far, far too many movies as part of my job, so I really appreciate being able to see something different. This is certainly not your average big budget action blockbuster. This isn't even your average Indie drama. This is something that is rather unique and works, arguably because it is so unique.

The Extras

Extras are limited to an audio commentary track and a ten-minute long making of featurette.

The film takes place in a car at nighttime, so the technical presentation isn't great. There's nothing wrong with the transfer and the level of details is sharp and the blacks are deep, but there's not a lot visually to show off. Likewise, the dialogue is crisp, but outside of ambient sounds from the traffic, there's not a lot to listen to in the surround sound speakers. Again, there's nothing wrong with the technical presentation, but the film is not something you would use to show off your home theater system.

The Blu-ray costs $21, which is $7 or 46% more than the DVD. That's a lot to ask for this type of release.

The Verdict

If you like art house films, then Locke is worth owning. However, I'm not sure the Blu-ray is better deal over the DVD.

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Filed under: Video Review, Locke, Tom Hardy