** SPOILERS **
We've all had car rides from hell, but Ivan Locke's (Tom Hardy) takes the cake when it comes to someone's life careening out of control while behind the wheel. Locke is a tidy, efficient character piece involving the gimmick of the entire movie taking place inside the car as Tom Hardy drives and takes numerous phone calls. A construction manager making a two hour commute into London, Locke is inundated with calls to and from the following: 1) his bosses and drunken minion at work, fretting over the concrete pour the next morning for the new high rise they're building, 2) a woman Locke slept with once (he emphasizes this happened only once) and doesn't particularly care for who is about to give birth to his illegitimate child, 3) his children expecting him to come home to watch football with them, 4) his wife ( voiced by Ruth Wilson), who just learned the details of item 2.
As Locke's fateful drive commences, he rues the reality that has set in; when he got in his car, he had a wife, a home, a well-paying job, and by the time he reaches London, he has lost all of those things. One almost wishes for Locke to ignore some of those calls and listen to the radio or perhaps an audio book, but his decisions and the domino effect they created would still persist. Locke himself struggles with what kind of person he truly is and nurses resentment towards the father who abandoned him; this serves to explain his dogged determination to present himself as the father to his child being born, even as his family life crumbles miles away and his professional life follows suit. Writer-director Stephen Knight maintains a grim, relentless pace, never letting up on Locke until the final moments where there's nothing left but the glimmer of redemption from his children. Locke is a contained, coiled tour de force for Hardy. He certainly had more fun as Bane driving the Batmobile around Gotham.