Life & Culture

Film review: Locked Down

This film set in a pandemic should have felt up to date - but it's as stale as old sourdough, says Linda Marric


Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor play a couple on the rocks who are forced to quarantine under the same roof in this pandemic-inspired comedy from director Doug Liman (Swingers, Edge of Tomorrow). Written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, Locked Down is set and filmed in London during the early days of the Covid crisis. Disappointingly, something so up-to-date already feels strangely outdated.

Co-habiting during a pandemic as a couple who have already chosen to go their separate ways is proving rather difficult for company CEO Linda (Hathaway) and courier driver partner Paxton (Ejiofor). However, the two are brought closer as they hatch up a plan to steal a valuable diamond from Harrods in a daring and largely haphazard heist.

While its makers might have hoped for a fun and breezy way to capture the mood during these uncertain times, unfortunately Locked Down often feels like an overly talky and annoyingly self-satisfied dud. Far from offering a real insight, the film’s constant references to every day lockdown activities such as sourdough baking, day-drinking and endless Zoom meetings often come off as stale and cringeworthy rather than inspired.

Liman and Knight’s insistence on a series of cameos from well known Hollywood faces — notably Ben Stiller and Ben Kingsley, literally phoning it in as Linda and Paxton’s respective bosses — reeks of desperation and lack of ideas.

The film’s saving grace are the two measured performances from Hathaway and Ejiofor, which makes it even more of a shame that Locked Down has nothing of real value to add to the current crisis.

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