Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon, Ben Stiller
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Phew! The most admirable thing about #LockedDown is the cast—the acting definitely helped to elevate such a safe storyline that attempted to take a risk. It’s like that episode of Hey Arnold when Stoop Kid wouldn’t leave his stoop; except with #LockedDown, we never get to see and feel the plot give that similar moment at the end of that Hey Arnold episode when Stoop Kid chases Harold down the sidewalk. Instead, we are left with a lingering anticipatory feeling, like an ascending rollercoaster that simply plateaus at the top.
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Below are my grades for key components in #LockedDown that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating, but will continue with minus-ratings.
Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.
I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.
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Character Arc/Development: D
Entertainment Factor: Don’t Rush
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My Takeaways—(BOLD = Thumbs Up/Pluses, & Relaxed = Thumbs Down/Lacking):
1. Individually, the delivery of each character was a joy to watch.
2. Does anyone else have a crush on Chiwetel? I’ve loved him since the movie #2012.
3. If anything, this film does a good job with solidifying the end of ANY storyline that centers COVID-19. It’s 2021…new year, new president, and a new outlook on the pandemic…
4. And to emphasize point #3—the foundation of the story was just outdated. Chile, folks have been traveling and getting out and about for the past few months, so this didn’t feel as relevant.
5. WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! Really? All you had to do was tell him THAT? And he was going to support you? SERIOUSLY? Come on now! That mall moment was SUCH a reach for the sake of moving the plot.
6. You wanna talk about a LOOOOOONG ass exposition! My goodness. The film didn’t even leave enough time in the movie to do anything else.
7. I was off and on with the chemistry between Anne and Chiwetel. On one hand, maybe the background of who this couple was definitely helped to make the disconnect make sense; but on the other hand, you also don’t get this real sense that they were really a couple on a few occasions. Maybe that was the point of Anne’s statements later on in the film…???
8. I will say, as a positive piggyback to point #4, that the representation of what quarantine can feel like, and the truth of what has happened to a few relationships when having to be quarantined for so long together, was on the mark.
9. Ben and Mindy were fun, yet short surprises with this cast.
10. I also appreciated the authentic “zoom” and virtual interaction components of the film. They added an air of honest humor.
11. The poetry additions were… eh… I mean, I liked hearing and seeing Chiwetel recite them. #KanyeShrug.
12. Although the moment was random, and clearly setting specific, I thought the elevator game was cute.
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Overall, #LockedDown reminded me of how I felt about #LikeABoss—it’s pretty deceitful and unfortunate. You have really solid actors who are giving you their best selves, but the plot just drags—literally and figuratively. And if you dare to watch it, you might try to make yourself think that maybe, JUST MAYBE the film and story is much deeper than you can comprehend based on the delivery and the poetry…but it’s not. You are probably just bored and trying to your damndest to give it a chance.