Locked Down; To All Film Makers... Never Use Zoom! Grade: D-
Locked Down tells a story about a couple Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway), whom are enduring a lock down due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Their relationship is basically over, as the main reason they are currently staying together at this time is because of the lockdown, as Paxton can’t just pack up his bags and leave. Paxton is gearing up to lose two lovers of his life: Linda and his motorcycle, in which he has to sell in order to afford a place to live. While on lockdown, Paxton and Linda are planning out a heist, to rob this precious high end diamond as due to the virus, it can be easily done.
If you were wondering why Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros are splitting up, it has nothing to do with Warner Bros shifting their theatrical releases moving forward in 2021. The real reason Christopher Nolan left Warner Bros is solely on the fact he watched Locked Down, as he can no longer work for a company that puts out maybe the dullest most pointless heist film ever existed. For those wondering: None of my criticism against this film is due to the fact they made it during the pandemic... I honestly don’t give a flying damn and if anyone makes criticism against this film for that reason, should not be working in film criticism in my opinion. We don’t criticize films because of our personal preferences or beliefs, we critique films solely on the film itself and nothing else... I have to say it because there are so MANY critics out there, that just don’t critique films the right way at all, it’s honestly embarrassing. If you want to make a film during a pandemic: Go for it, it’s your life you do whatever you want to do with it. As long as it’s well made in quality regarding film making, performances, sound, editing, music, story telling... That’s all I care about regarding your choice in making film. My criticism of this film is solely on the fact that this movie is honestly pure dog shit.
One of my biggest fears in cinema going forward is the horrors of Zoom, as film makers would somehow be inspired to use Zoom in films. Now can Zoom work for a full length feature film?! It depends. In the past, films like Unfriended or Searching, where it’s centered around a computer screen or a Skype call have proven you can make quality films that are similar to the likes of Zoom. But here’s the thing... Both of those films are suspenseful, while also they offer a sense of mystery to it as well. Despite those films being shot on a computer screen via Skype Call, it’s worth noting we’re invested not because of the call or computer screen itself, we’re more invested on what is bound to happen to these characters in critical situations. If you don’t have nothing going on during these Zoom calls, as you have characters just talking in a poorly shot recorded Zoom call... It’s going to be an unbearable experience.
If films that center around a Zoom call don’t consist of horror, suspense, or mystery... I don’t see this kind of film making ever going to work... Locked Down scenes in which consist of Zoom Calls proves my point. Every single and I mean every single Zoom Call featured in this film... It’s the worst part of this entire film. We’re experiencing characters talking in these Zoom calls, that honestly don’t help the story in any regard, matter of fact majority of these Zoom calls are pointless. Like this one Zoom Call in which Linda and CEO’s talk about the landscape of business, as Linda is going to get a promotion relocating to New York... That scene had absolutely no value to the story whatsoever, in fact if you take out that scene, it wouldn’t change a damn thing about this film.
It almost felt like the moral purpose of majority of these Zoom Calls, is the unexpected cameos, as it’s suppose to make the audience go “OOOOOOH I KNOW THAT FAMOUS PERSON!” Like seriously any amateur actor/actress could’ve played those roles and it wouldn’t make much of a difference. I hate Zoom Calls with a dear passion, the film making quality of them is horrendous, the sound quality is irritating as we’ve seen many technical difficulties in the sound mixing in this film... Like why would anyone want to make films like this?! To all Film Makers... DITCH ZOOM, DON’T USE IT, IT DOESN’T WORK, IT HURTS YOUR FILM AND MAKES IT DULL.
Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor both played fine performances, I think Hathaway in a couple moments pulls off some strong acting chops in her emotional scenes. But what kills both of these actors is the lack of chemistry... It was honestly extremely brutal. I did not once believed they used to be a couple, nor do I believe they’re going through issues, while also having a soft side for each other. It honestly felt like these actors were put in this movie by force and were rushed as they didn’t get a full grasp of the characters they were playing in. Like seriously majority of the scenes they were in together were dreadfully dull... There’s just nothing there.
Now I didn’t read the description of Locked Down before going in, so I was unaware in what I was getting, as I thought this be a romance flick from the looks of the poster. I’m happy I didn’t read the description, because it’s the most misleading description of this film. Sure there is a heist... But majority of this film has nothing to do with the heist. It’s more leaned on these characters going through the motions of the lock down itself, the virus, as they share many pointless zoom calls with their buddies and associates. Now you can make an intriguing story from this subject matter, in fact I even came up with a story surrounding this subject matter as well... If I ever get around to it. But Locked Down may of given me inspiration to do so, if this piece of shit can be made... Oh boy, mine can be made as well.
Now where was I? Oh yes! When the film is not centered around the heist, it’s honestly a painful experience. We’re not interested in our characters at all as we can care less about them, nothing interesting is going on as it feels comparable to isolation at home... Completely bored, nothing to do, as you keep repeating why am I alive for?! I think what bothers me on the same level as Zoom calls, is this films attempt at comedy... Like holy crap! This films attempt in making jokes has got to be the worst I’ve experience in awhile, even attempts at Covid jokes were baffling except for the toilet paper joke... Alright at least I got a chuckle out of that one. I have no idea why this film attempted comedy in the first place... This isn’t a rom com nor a dark comedy, this is a freaking sorrow dramatic heist movie, what are you doing?!
Here I thought as I went to bed, with about an hour left to go, I figured maybe the second half of this film where the heist will be shown will make this film much better. Unfortunately... It’s about the same. Not only is the second half dreadfully as boring as the first half, but the heist is honestly embarrassing, as there is no sense of tension or suspense, which is what you should never do when making a heist film. Like I’m sitting in my bed waiting for something exciting to happen, just to find out that I bamboozled myself into thinking this film is going to offer me anything worth my liking. I will say the mask situation going on in this film, compares to the logic issues going on with the mask situation going on today. Like Paxton and Linda wore their mask walking down a small hallway... But then take it off walking along another hallway, with more people present. Listen man: The whole mask situation itself suffers from many logic and common sense issues itself, either way you look and turn none of it makes any damn sense. But since we’re discussing it in this film alone... What was the point in them wearing masks in the first place?! The only time it made logical sense was when Linda advises Paxton to wear one, so her associate couldn’t recognized them, but other than that... Nobody else is wearing one as yourselves didn’t care to wear one in the first place, so what’s the point?!
Like I gotta ask the people over at Warner Bros: What the hell were you thinking in investing your money on this?! Seriously I can not comprehend in the level of pure stupidity behind whomever green lighted this freaking disaster, because that’s exactly what this is. Not only is a waste of time from the audience whom partaken in watching this film, but it’s also a waste of time from everyone involved in this project. If you’re going to invest in a project during a critical time... MAKE SURE IT HAS A PURPOSE IN GETTING MADE! No one had to rush to get a dreadfully boring heist film made as of now, this could’ve been made like years later, and maybe just maybe it would’ve been fully thought out, as the writers, director, and producers go “Ya know this heist movie right here... It could use more excitement and less Zoom Calls that no one wants to see.”
Overall, Locked Down is pure TRASH! I don’t recommend this film at all, what an embarrassment this was. -Mitch Smietana