The Stream: The initial premise may hit too close to home.
The Big Screen: Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor have good chemistry.
The Final Bill: A lightweight comedy with an unexpected turn makes for an enjoyable experience.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: Steven Knight
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anne Hathaway, Sonic | See full cast & crew »
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Romance
Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes
Platform: HBO MAX (Released Jan. 14, 2021)
After suffering through Malcolm & Marie, I returned to this quarantine-inspired comedy, Locked Down, which premiered on HBO Max in January. Locked Down is another movie filmed in these COVID-quarantine times like Malcolm & Marie, and the main stars, Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, do the heavy-lifting of sparring with each other and embodying the malaise of being locked down. This movie is billed as a comedy and crime thriller. Let’s see how funny and thrilling it actually is.
Locked Down takes place during the initial 2-week lockdown in London after the COVID-19 pandemic grabbed hold of the world. Hathaway and Ejiofor play Linda and Paxton, a couple who have been together for 10 years, but as their relationship is coming to an end, they find themselves stuck at home locked down. Linda is upwardly mobile as she’s been promoted to CEO of a multi-national corporation; and Paxton feels stuck as a delivery driver due to his criminal record. Their diverging paths add tension to their relationship until those paths collide in an unexpected way. Doug Liman directs this movie, which could be construed as a romantic comedy – Liman directed The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which may give a hint as to where this is going.
When I first watched Locked Down, the Zoom calls and talk of quarantine was depressingly distracting. Ejiofor’s character goes out into the street to read poetry to his neighbors who are also locked down; and Hathaway’s character works from home and smokes at her window. It feels too close to home at times. Ejiofor and Hathaway argue back and forth like the couple from Malcolm & Marie, but their arguments feel substantive and have a lightness to them that’s not so self-serious and self-righteous. The dialogue is funny, and Hathaway and Ejiofor have good on-screen chemistry. They pleasantly deliver their lines with such energy and wit. There are also some fun and unexpected appearances by other actors like Dule Hill, Stephen Merchant, and Ben Stiller – to name a few.
Ultimately, Locked Down is just an enjoyable trifle of a movie. If you are going to watch a movie that constantly reminds you of our COVID-times, it might as well be one that is having a little fun with it, even if it does get ridiculous. Grab a bowl of popcorn and give Locked Down a stream.