Drama 85 April 25, 2014
So, yes, this is the movie where Tom Hardy drives for 90 minutes. The story's just sharp enough, about a man trying to prepare a construction site for a high-pressure concrete pour as he races across England to attend the birth of his son by a one-night stand. But what director Knight excels at is continually inventive composition, suggesting through layers of window and reflected traffic the mental state of Locke, the hero. His driving is smooth, his handling of million-dollar workplace complications calm and effective, but when revealing to his wife where he's headed, the silences gape -- and Knight allows the head and taillights around Locke's to slide from focus and go wafer flat, a gorgeous space-out.
Hardy makes a familiar character -- the supremely competent workaholic -- credible and compelling, if never quite fresh. Still, there's something dispiriting about yet another Type A learning that maybe he should take more time for family, all while treating us to the pleasure of watching him coolly triumph at all his Type A biz.