‘Locked Down’ Review: Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor Carry Doug Liman’s Pandemic Heist Comedy – IndieWire

Linda may not share Paxtons erratic head movements, however Hathaway finds a lot of other methods to express her characters slow-motion crisis: drinking wine, screaming into her bed sheets, drinking more red wine, monologuing about the arbitrariness of Valkyries, firing her entire group over Zoom, monologuing about how the ominous forces of capitalism crawled up her legs like the snake from the Garden of Eden, chugging an entire carafe of wine, and manically dancing to Adam and the Ants in her pajamas. Theres some big, implosive, “Rachel Getting Married” stress and anxiety at work in her performance, and while this product does not allow for the very same degree of variety or depth, Hathaway still understands how to rattle the bars of a gilded cage without totally losing her appeal.

Grade: B.

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” Locked Down,” the most current and least heightened entry in the emerging (and hopefully brief) sub-genre of films shot throughout COVID-19, opens with a sight that will not make good sense up until a bit later: The fattest possible hedgehog bumbling through a London garden like its been lapping up cheap red wine all day. A few minutes later on, Doug Limans mainly enjoyable rallying cry for the rush of living counters that odd start with a sight that immediately makes all the sense on the planet: Anne Hathaway shouting her way into a motion picture that was made amid the worst pandemic in more than a century.

Hathaway was so excited to be on camera once again that shes concurred to reteam with Steven Knight in order to do it, even though its been less than two years because the terrific “Serenity” event of 2019. In fairness to them both, Knights latest script hews much closer to his clever and contained work on “Locke” than it does to the Donald Kaufman-worthy shenanigans of his previous movie, regardless of the fact that it was composed in a rush and still feels quite like a very first draft.

This remarkably easy going COVID movie stars Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor as an estranged couple who plot a jewel break-in during lockdown.

That shagginess can occasionally sink the energy of a stir-crazy love about 2 people who uncover their desire for life (and maybe likewise for each other) while caged together in the exact same flat at the end of the world, however it also glazes the light and good-natured “Locked Down” with a palpable sense of the purgatorial torpor that weve all come to understand so well. Most of our days arent shaped with a screenwriters intentionality and rife with amazing event, and even the best of the Zoom calls can make us seem like were yelling into a vacuum. If numerous of this movies COVID signifiers appear hacky in the here and now– video call echo, sourdough beginners, a relative whos always informing you about some post they check out, and so on– they help cement this ultra-bougie comedy as Hollywoods most sensible take on life throughout lockdown. At least up until its stars conspire to take a diamond worth $3 million from Harrods one night

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” Locked Down” will be readily available to stream on HBOMax beginning Thursday, January 14.

Yes, “Locked Down” is a break-in movie, though one thats more concerned with ” taking back the things that you feel life owes you” than it is with priceless jewels. And Paxton Riggs (Ejiofor) certainly thinks that life has actually taken a variety of very valuable things from him. Chief amongst them: The right to have a name as ill as Paxton Riggs. When upon a time, Paxton was a rebel without a cause– a badass bicycle rider type who used to vroom around the globe, dazzle beautiful women, and beat the shit out of the males who got in his method. Sadly, it seems he punched among them too hard; he won the battle, but lost the hope of ever landing a good job once again. Ten years later, his marriage to Hathaways high-powered Linda Thurman has actually crashed and burned in big part due to the fact that shes rising to the top of a soulless corporation of some kind, and hes been stuck working as a freight driver for a shipping service run by an ultra-devout Ben Kingsley (think of if his character from “Sexy Beast” found Jesus). Recently furloughed and required to sell his valuable motorcycle simply to get by after the divorce, Paxton has actually now been stripped away the last staying sign of his manhood. That makes him an intolerable roommate for his estranged wife, whos just as desperate to shake devoid of what Paxton refers to as “a fucking jail of mental hell-chains.”.

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Theres an included rush to the errant scenes in which these characters roam outside, even if its so that Paxton can regale the entire community with a dramatic reading of D.H. Lawrences poem “Stand Up!” (” defend a brand-new arrangement/for a chance of life all around/for freedom and the enjoyable of living/bust in and hold the ground!”). And while the movies long transition into a subtle caper depends upon a lot of outrageous coincidences that Linda can just ascribe them to God, its weirdly interesting to watch Ejiofor and Hathaway– both wearing masks– bust out of your home in order to slink through the iconic Harrods food court and the cavernous tunnels listed below.

Most significantly, “Locked Down” does not completely surrender to its context. The film may lose a lot of its charge if and when we ever get this infection under control, however Knights script utilizes the pandemic as more of a setting than a topic. COVID-19 works as a fitting backdrop for an pleasant romp about the freedoms we take for granted, and the confines that dictated our lives long prior to we were required to invest them in the house. ” A complete re-examination of ones life does seem to be a COVID negative effects,” Linda sighs at one point, but here– in the sort of film that would never ever get made with stars of this caliber if not for a worldwide crisis– that deadly symptom can feel dangerously near to a silver lining.

Some people simply need to act, and Hathaways reliable performance as a tired out CEO whos forced to quarantine with her soon-to-be-ex-husband (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is so huge and hectic that it seems like shes trying to squeeze in enough acting to sustain her until this entire thing blows over.

Seeing well-known people move through the COVID world freely without killing anyone feels like a break-in unto itself, and the henpecked bickering in between Paxton and Linda takes a rear seat to the sheer delight of seeing them securely recover a step of freedom over their lives for an excellent cause (the break-in is partly meant to benefit the NHS). The same goes for the actors who play these characters, and for the crew who made the production around them possible.

Paxton and Linda are so filled with bottled-up energy that it can be exasperating to view them try to expend it on each other ad nauseum– to the point that it feels as if Liman has just pierced the movie with numerous Zoom employs order to supply air shaft for it to breathe through ( and opportunities for socially remote cameos from the similarity Kingsley, Ben Stiller, and Mindy Kaling). Its a small grace, then, that “Locked Up” isnt constrained to video apps; unfortunate as it is to admit, theres a small excitement in viewing real motion picture stars like Ejiofor and Hathaway carry out brand-new material in remarkable high-definition, even if theyre mostly doing it in their pajamas.

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If so numerous of this movies COVID signifiers appear hacky in the here and now– video call echo, sourdough beginners, a household member whos always informing you about some post they check out, etc.– they help seal this ultra-bougie funny as Hollywoods many sensible take on life throughout lockdown. 10 years later on, his marriage to Hathaways high-powered Linda Thurman has actually crashed and burned in big part due to the fact that shes rising to the top of a soulless corporation of some kind, and hes been stuck working as a freight chauffeur for a shipping service run by an ultra-devout Ben Kingsley (imagine if his character from “Sexy Beast” found Jesus). And while the movies long shift into a subtle caper hinges on so many ridiculous coincidences that Linda can only ascribe them to God, its weirdly exciting to enjoy Ejiofor and Hathaway– both wearing masks– bust out of the house in order to slip through the iconic Harrods food court and the cavernous tunnels below.

Seeing popular individuals move through the COVID world easily without eliminating any person feels like a break-in unto itself, and the henpecked bickering in between Paxton and Linda takes a rear seat to the sheer pleasure of seeing them securely reclaim a measure of flexibility over their lives for an excellent cause (the break-in is partly planned to benefit the NHS).” A total re-examination of ones life does appear to be a COVID side impact,” Linda sighs at one point, however here– in the kind of movie that would never get made with stars of this caliber if not for a global crisis– that fatal symptom can feel precariously close to a silver lining.

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