‘Locked Down’ Is A Run of the Mill Heist Flick With A COVID Twist

Courtesy of HBO

Locked Down, a COVID-era romance comedy heist film, first appeared to be a film of substance but soon devolves into another in a long line of heist films.

Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway) are a London couple in a failing relationship who are forced to shelter in place together due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Due to an assault arrest from a decade earlier, Paxton is only able to get jobs as a delivery truck driver and it leaves him feeling quite disappointed about how his life has turned out.

Since stores are shut down, only a limited amount of drivers are available for high-value deliveries, so Paxton’s boss (Ben Kingsley) asks him to make runs on his behalf under a false identity. Linda, who is a CEO at a fashion company, is in charge of clearing out inventory at a nearby Harrods department store that’s slated to close.

Linda tells Paxton about a £3 million diamond in the Harrods vault that has been sold to an anonymous buyer and the store keeps a duplicate on-location. The bickering couple decide to steal the genuine diamond and send the fake one to the buyer in New York City, splitting the sale between themselves and the National Health Service. She soon realizes their delivery schedules at the store overlap and Paxton wouldn’t be able make it past the security checkpoint Linda has set up.

Written, financed, and filmed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Locked Down is the most recent of many films to capitalize on the pandemic and make an annoying little COVID sub-genre out of the whole thing. Down the road, this will absolutely feel dated.

The film started off quite good. There was some lovely chemistry between Ejiofor and Hathaway, and this movie would have been great if the filmmakers had stuck with a character-driven romantic drama that explores human nature and the strain of a lockdown on a relationship. But, alas, they just had to go off and make another heist spectacle. The result was okay, but nothing to write home about. Locked Down is available on HBO Max.

I give Locked Down two and a half out of five stars.

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