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‘Locked Down’ review: Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in a quarantine romantic heist for the Covid time capsule



The movie is notably simply the newest try and corral the strangeness of the pandemic and switch that into drama, together with a variety of restricted sequence and specials made for TV and streaming. The primary distinction right here entails the marquee stars (plus some amusing Zoom-call cameos), working with “The Bourne Identification” director Doug Liman (whose most germane credit score right here is likely to be “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”) and author Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”).

Residing collectively in London, Ejiofor’s Paxton has simply been furloughed from his van-driving gig, whereas his companion Linda (Hathaway) is pressured to put off a few of her firm’s employees. 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 saved them not less than bodily collectively.

The strain within the relationship comes spewing out in quite a lot of rapid-fire dialogue, virtually like an Aaron Sorkin film, solely there’s not a lot room to stroll whereas speaking.

“I am not regular recently, I do know that,” Paxton admits, earlier than going out into the road to learn poetry, loudly, as a way of “entertaining our fellow inmates.”

Like most shot-under-quarantine productions, it is intriguing for about 30 minutes or so, thanks partially to the charismatic leads. For the subsequent half-hour, most viewers — like their predicament — will in all probability have seen sufficient and simply wish 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 beneficial) piece of merchandise. The situation creates uncertainty about whether or not they’ll truly undergo with the scheme, if they’re going to get away with it, and whether or not sharing such an endeavor can restore the injury finished between them.

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Alongside the best way, the pair chat with numerous pals and colleagues 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 doable to admire the ingenuity — and on this case, the central performances — with out discovering the end result significantly satisfying. Seeing glamorous folks participating in mundane, getting-under-each-other’s-skin bickering does not essentially make that a complete lot extra enjoyable.

Distributed by Warner Bros. amid the studio’s technique of launching its 2021 slate on HBO Max (like CNN, each models of WarnerMedia), “Locked Down” is the sort of small-boned film that does not lose something on a streaming platform. Creatively talking, it truly would possibly achieve one thing after a number of years within the vault, however for now, it falls someplace within the realms of “Not sufficient” and “Too quickly,” take your choose.

“Locked Down” premieres Jan. 14 on HBO Max.



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