HBO MAX brings us a romantic comedy set during COVID in Locked Down from director Doug Liman. Written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, Locked Down centers on Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway) a couple living in the United Kingdom amid separation.
However, they discover life has other plans when they are stuck at home in a mandatory lockdown. Co-habitation is proving to be a challenge but fueled by poetry and copious amounts of wine. It will bring them closer together in the most surprising way. They decide to pull off a jewelry heist at the Harrods department store through a twist of events.
Announced in September of 2020, Locked Down was shot under the pandemic protocols and completed within ninety days. The A-List talent that the production was able to assemble includes Ben Stiller, Lily James, Stephen Merchant, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon, and Mark Gatiss. How their characters figure into the plot alone earned my respect. That said, I will acknowledge that Knight's script doesn't get political, nor does it try and sway anyone's opinion of the pandemic.
Locked Down is the strongest when it focuses on the ending relationship between Paxton and Linda. I'm a fan of dialogue-driven films, so the first half is stronger than the second. When the couple decides to plan the heist, the film loses its gusto, and some viewers may leave with questions than answers.
Doug Liman is a capable and writer Steven Knight has an excellent gift for dialogue. Sadly the elements just didn't come together for me as a complete project in Locked Down.
Final Grade C-
Locked Down is available to stream on HBO MAX today.