The movie is notably simply the newest try to corral the strangeness of the pandemic and switch that into drama, together with various restricted sequence and specials made for TV and streaming. The principle distinction right here includes the marquee stars (plus some amusing Zoom-call cameos), working with “The Bourne Id” director Doug Liman (whose most germane credit score right here is perhaps “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”) and author Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”).
Dwelling collectively in London, Ejiofor’s Paxton has simply been furloughed from his van-driving gig, whereas his associate Linda (Hathaway) is compelled to put off a few of her firm’s staff. That solely provides to the shared sense of malaise and discomfort, since Linda — first seen screaming right into a pillow — had been “planning to finish our factor” earlier than the lockdown stored them at the very least bodily collectively.
The stress within the relationship comes spewing out in lots of rapid-fire dialogue, nearly like an Aaron Sorkin film, solely there’s not a lot room to stroll whereas speaking.
“I am not regular currently, I do know that,” Paxton admits, earlier than going out into the road to learn poetry, loudly, as a method of “entertaining our fellow inmates.”
Like most shot-under-quarantine productions, it is intriguing for about 30 minutes or so, thanks partly to the charismatic leads. For the following half-hour, most viewers — like their predicament — will most likely have seen sufficient and simply need to get out.
The second half, although, takes a marked flip, as a chance presents itself for the 2 to collaborate on absconding with a priceless (OK, extraordinarily invaluable) piece of merchandise. The situation creates uncertainty about whether or not they’ll really undergo with the scheme, if they will get away with it, and whether or not sharing such an endeavor can restore the harm completed between them.
Alongside the best way, the pair chat with numerous pals and associates performed by the likes of Ben Stiller, Ben Kingsley and Dule Hill, however that is largely a two-handed card recreation.
As soon as once more, it is potential to admire the ingenuity — and on this case, the central performances — with out discovering the outcome notably satisfying. Seeing glamorous folks participating in mundane, getting-under-each-other’s-skin bickering would not essentially make that an entire lot extra enjoyable.
Distributed by Warner Bros. amid the studio’s technique of launching its 2021 slate on HBO Max (like CNN, each items of WarnerMedia), “Locked Down” is the form of small-boned film that does not lose something on a streaming platform. Creatively talking, it really may achieve one thing after a couple of years within the vault, however for now, it falls someplace within the realms of “Not sufficient” and “Too quickly,” take your decide.
“Locked Down” premieres Jan. 14 on HBO Max.