Film Review: Unlocked

Director Michael Apted’s Unlocked is a by the numbers spy thriller that will entertain but not enthral.

Alice Racine is working undercover in London. The CIA agent is asked to step in to interrogate a terror suspect. Time is not on her side, however, as London is at risk of a biological attack…

Directed by Michael Apted and written by Peter O’Brien, Unlocked boasts an enviable cast and a suitable enough premise. Nevertheless, the film fails to engage fully because of an increasingly implausible narrative and a lack of character development.

The premise of Unlocked sounds pretty typical of the genre. And the movie very much matches this. The film offers plenty of twists as the narrative progresses. Some of these are more predictable than others. In a sense, the countdown to the terrorist attack becomes secondary to the mystery of who is really trying to stop Alice. When the film returns to this attack strand, the excitement is missing. The film suffers from a lacklustre ending.

Character development in the film is barely existent. As the protagonist, Alice is given a small backstory but this does not give her much depth. Her colleagues are given even less development. Elsewhere, the London-based helpers are disposable. Action sequences are decent overall, as are the production values.

Unlocked features a stellar cast. Noomi Rapace makes a good action hero, but is limited by the script. Michael Douglas, Toni Collette, and John Malkovich are underused in their supporting roles. Orlando Bloom has more to do, but is not entirely convincing.

The film attempts to turn pre-conceived ideas on their head with its twisting plot. Yet the script is a letdown, as is the narrative progression. Added to this is the minimal plot development. Unlocked is unlikely to bore viewers, but will not satisfy either.

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