Start up the trailer for Locke, and the first thing you’ll see, right smack in the middle of the screen, is the BMW logo. Then, you’ll see Tom Hardy, seated in a BMW. Streetlights reflect off the vehicle’s glossy exterior. A faint orange glow dances across Hardy’s face from over the steering wheel. It can’t be long before Hardy starts extolling the virtues of the luxurious, all-new 428i Series.
But Locke is a movie, not a BMW ad. It’s just a movie that happens to take place entirely within one car and entirely within real time. Hardy stars as a fellow named Ivan Locke, who’s driving to London and has a few phone calls to make during the long trek. And that’s the movie – Locke will dial up various people, confront various problems, and (from the looks of the trailer, anyway) have his mental state rapidly deteriorate.
The “one character, one setting” movie has been done before, with All is Lost, 127 Hours, Buried, and so forth. But with all those films, it’s a dude who’s physically isolated from the rest of the world and is trying his hardest to not die horribly. With Locke, Hardy’s still safe within the bonds of civilization, and from the looks of this first footage there doesn’t seem to be much life-or-death struggle.
If anyone can pull this off, though, it’s this group. Directing Locke is Andrew Knight, who wrote the screenplay for Eastern Promises, and co-starring as the voices in Hardy’s ear are Olivia Colman (Tyrannosaur), Andrew Scott (Moriarty, from Sherlock) and Ruth Wilson (Alice Morgan, from Luther). With the latter two, there’ll be no shortage of creepy adversaries for Hardy to shout angry Welsh-accented swear words at. Plus the critics seem to like it, given that this first trailer is overflowing with positive blurbs. Probably a good sign.
Locke hits theaters on April 25, 2014.