‘Locked Down’ turns quarantine right into a romantic heist film for the Covid time capsule

The movie is notably simply the most recent try and 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 entails 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 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 stored them at the very least bodily collectively.

The stress within the relationship comes spewing out in a whole lot 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 these days, 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 half-hour or so, thanks partially to the charismatic leads. For the subsequent 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 possibility presents itself for the 2 to collaborate on absconding with a priceless (OK, extraordinarily priceless) 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 harm accomplished between them.

Alongside the best way, the pair chat with numerous buddies and colleagues performed by the likes of Ben Stiller, Ben Kingsley and Dule Hill, however that is largely a two-handed card sport.

As soon as once more, it is doable to admire the ingenuity — and on this case, the central performances — with out discovering the consequence notably satisfying. Seeing glamorous individuals participating in mundane, getting-under-each-other’s-skin bickering would 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 form of small-boned film that does not lose something on a streaming platform. Creatively talking, it truly would possibly acquire 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 choose.

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

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