Locked Down (2021) Movie Review (Written by Alex Humber)
When the virus that has been plaguing the planet first put many countries in lockdown, what ends up happening to the toxic couples that are now stuck with each other... locked down.
From the director of Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Bourne Identity (2002), amongst many other projects varying in genre, comes Locked Down (2021). The film revolves around Paxton (Chiwetel Ejifor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway) as a separated couple stuck together during the first mandatory lock down in London, who end up attempting a heist at a department store.
With the new wave of “covid movies” just starting to come to fruition, filmmakers are testing the waters with what they can do with the limited resources and ideas needed for feature length films. With Steven Knight being the screenwriter for this, it immediately became a movie I needed to see. Knight has written such films as Locke (2013), Eastern Promises (2007), Allied (2016) and Serenity (2019). With his movies usually being a Hit-or-miss with audiences, he has secured himself as a name worth knowing with his hit TV show Peaky Blinders (2013-). Unfortunately, this movie, despite some great aspects, falls short of being good due to the reliance on “lock down” jokes, messy writing, low stakes and rough pacing.
While this movie ultimately fell short, there were some many positives. For starters, the movie uses the limited resources given to their advantage for the most part. Most of the secondary characters are seen through Zoom meetings, and while the entire world at this point is tired of zoom, it was a good way to introduce these characters due to the reliance society has on these video chat sites for entertainment during lockdown. Doug Liman does a great job with the limited space of the indoor setting the film has. Despite him usually being an “Action” director, the direction here was far from sloppy.
The cast does a good job with their roles. Chiwetel Ejifor is probably the stand out here as his character has some heavy scenes to carry. Sadly, Anne Hathaway just plays her usual self. Nothing of note here as her character is forgettable and only has the personality traits of being a “workaholic”. Although no one does a bad job in this, some of the side characters are not really that good. For example; Ben Stiller plays a crumby boss and some of the points and dialogue he has with Anne Hathaway just fall flat and make no sense. The lead characters are going through a separation, and while that would have made for an interesting movie in itself, it truly felt like the “heist” portion was stuffed In to make the movie more Marketable.
The heist portion of the film only comes in at the final act, with no, I repeat, no hints or need for the heist throughout the first two acts. The movie also feels way longer than needed. The 1 hour 54 minutes feels like 2 hours after the first 45 minutes. The pacing dragged this movie down a lot. While the heist was nothing special, it feels like two movies were cut in half and shoved together. It is a shame because the movie had a lot going for it, as well as two great opportunities for 2 separate movies. The gold was there, the movie just couldn’t quite reach it.
To finish off, Locked Down (2021) was a disappointment due to the amazing cast and crew behind the picture. It had a lot going for it but sadly just became a forgettable movie that was brought down by the poor pacing, mediocre writing, and boring characters. Although it was brought up by the cast doing well with what they are given, interesting ideas and well done direction.
My rating for Locked Down is 2.6/5 (D+).
Appreciate you reading this! Locked Down had some fun elements that the general public will enjoy. The movie just falls short of being worth the watch. Cheers.