Director: Michael Apted
There was something of a delay from the close of production on Unlocked and it actually hitting cinemas this May in the UK. Having seen the film I think this may have been due to the subject matter of the film and the Paris attacks of 2015. As Alice, Noomi Rapace plays a C.I.A. interrogator haunted by not being able to stop a terrorist attack on a bridge in Paris in 2012. She is soon drawn into a conspiracy to launch a deadly biological attack in London and has to work quickly to prevent the attack. Alice really has her work cut out for her as the line between ally and enemy becomes incredibly blurred the longer time goes on.
I’ve often found Noomi Rapace to be a little flaky and not very convincing in her previous roles. She’s a lot better here. She gives a more determined and clinical performance and the burdens she carries show well. Orlando Bloom pops up as Jack Alcott, a former marine who tries to ally himself with Alice. Bloom is very much the weak link in Unlocked. An overblown cockney accent partnered with a very cocky demeanour did not make for a particularly likeable character. Toni Collette plays a British senior agent and it’s very difficult not to think it’s actually Annie Lennox given the haircut she’s sporting. You can see what they were going for with the imagery of the character but someone should have noticed the resemblance to Lennox and suggested something else. That said, she weighs in with a gritty performance nonetheless. Finally, we come to our movie veterans; Michael Douglas and John Malkovich. These sort of roles have been their bread and butter for longer than I can remember. You’d expect nothing less than what they put into the film, they’re both calculating individuals with motives often left open to debate.
If I had to make a comparison for Unlocked the easiest on would be to a really strong episode of Spooks, the British spy drama set in a department of MI5 and with Michael Apted directing he’s well qualified to deliver a film of this genre given his James Bond experience with The World Is Not Enough. Not a great Bond film perhaps but that was not down to his direction. It’s a well constructed storyline even if the whole stopping a terrorist attack premise has been done to death and will continue to be so. You only have to look at the cast to think this has to be better than average and it certainly is better than average without hitting any great heights. Everyone involved knows what would be expected from this kind of film and they certainly put in enough to make it so. Another way of looking at it is that if this was a straight to DVD title then it would be better than just about everything else than doesn’t make it to a cinema near you. I enjoyed the film without it having any fireworks but it did offer the some moments of tension and action and would be worth ninety odd minutes of your time.
The verdict: A competent thriller that doesn’t quite set the world alight but rather prevents it -3/5 Stars.