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No turning back

No turning back

Großbritannien/USA 2013 - with Tom Hardy ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Locke
Direction:Steven Knight
Cinema release:19.06.2014
Production country:Großbritannien/USA 2013
Running time:Approx. 84 min.
Rated:From 0 years

Actually Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is not only a family man and husband, but also in his job as a construction manager an absolutely reliable skin. But on the eve of, of all things, the most important concrete delivery for the foundation of the major construction site he oversees, Ivan makes a run for it. He tries to use the long drive from Birmingham to London to make endless phone calls to maintain the order in his life that he has so carefully built. He does his best to reassure his boss, prepare his young colleague to take charge of the concrete delivery and persuade his wife to stay with him. But the closer London gets, the clearer it becomes that Ivan's life will never be the same at the end of this car ride, and what awaits him in London could cost him everything he's lived for.

No turning back is a brave and impressive work on a number of levels. Granted, it's not the first film to be set in a very confined space and carried by only one actor. We saw something similar with the thriller Buried with Ryan Reynolds. What makes Steven Knight's highway drama a bit bolder in direct comparison is the fact that No turning back doesn't use any classic suspense elements, but tries to reach its captivating potential by having the audience watch an ordinary man trying to contain the big consequences of a small mistake and how he loses more and more control over his life in the process.

The atmosphere Knight builds up is absolutely oppressive and in a way also captivating. However, it also raises expectations for a really big bang that never really comes. Nothing really happens beyond Locke sitting in his car and making phone calls. If you're hoping for more from the story, or at least expecting a surprising or emotionally intense resolution, you're guaranteed to be disappointed here. Because No turning back is a one man show that is kept simple in every respect, but works well exactly because of that - if you can get involved with it. Because what Ivan Locke has to deal with here can theoretically happen to any viewer - in contrast to what Ryan Reynolds goes through in Buried. And this atmospherically tightly staged realism can then very well be perceived as thrilling.

However, regardless of whether one is captivated by what is happening or just finds the whole thing a soporific bore, Tom Hardy's outstanding performance is undeniable in any case. The way Ivan Locke desperately tries to stay calm and level-headed at all times, even when his interlocutors snap or call him names, is just as intensely played as the brief glimpses into the depths of Locke's soul that he reveals when he has angry dialogues with his deceased father. Hardy really turns in a great performance here, which saves the film even over the numerous lengths.

The only question left is whether this is really a work that needs to be seen in the cinema. Whereas with Buried the dark cinema auditorium added to the film's claustrophobic atmosphere, there is not a single aspect of No Turning Back that is intensified in any way by watching it on the big screen. So, if you decide to pick up a movie ticket for this chamber drama, you should definitely approach the film with the right expectations. Nothing more should be expected visually, nor dramaturgically, than reality-based simplicity. If that's enough for you, you'll definitely get a great Tom Hardy for your money. And under these conditions, the drama has then also earned a very clear worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "No turning back (Großbritannien/USA 2013)"
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