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Movies & TV

27th May 2019

Tom Hardy’s most underrated film and performance is on TV tonight

Dave Hanratty

Locke Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy. In a car. That’s it, that’s the movie.

At least, that’s the ‘elevator pitch’ for the movie.

There’s a great deal going on in Locke, and a great of that great deal is contained deep within Tom Hardy’s eyes.

Searching, frantic, lost. Only in this film, he’s not playing a Batman villain or a conflicted MMA bruiser or a famous gangster. He’s playing an everyman, and it’s arguably the best start-to-finish performance of his career to date.

Locke tells the story of Ivan Locke, a fairly normal man with a fairly normal job on a night that has major consequences for him and his family.

The action takes place exclusively and entirely within the confines of a car, as Hardy faces off with barriers in a series of phone calls as he struggles to keep his life from falling apart piece by piece.

Sounds like it might be a bit dull, but Locke is a masterclass in tension, and a tour-de-force from the man behind the wheel.

Clip via A24

Currently housing a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, you might well ask, ‘But JOE, how can a film with that much critical acclaim be underrated?’ and it’s a fair point, but ask yourself – how many of your mates go for ‘Locke’ when you ask for Tom Hardy’s best film down the pub?

Locke surprises in how simple and relatable the title character’s scenario is, and never needs to rely on silly plot contrivances or unbelievable twists.

Hardy is well supported with the voices of Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson and Olivia Colman throughout the journey that will change him forever, but Locke’s leading light shines brightest.

If ever you needed convincing of Hardy’s ability to completely inhabit and capture a compelling individual, Locke should really be the go-to.

Okay, the Welsh accent is genuinely questionable and a bit dodgy, but the stunning, minimalist direction from Steven Knight, a tight 85-minute running time and a beautiful score from Dickon Hinchliffe make Locke a true gem.

Turn off the phone and don’t miss a second of this one.

Locke is on TG4 tonight – Monday 27 May – at 9.30pm

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