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Film Review: Unlocked

Title: Unlocked

Director(s): Michael Apted

Screenwriter(s): Peter O’Brien

Studio: Di Bonaventura Pictures et al Released: 2017

Runtime: 1h 38m

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Michael Douglas

Unlocked is basically another Taken-like action-thriller. In all respects, there is nothing particularly bad but there is nothing particularly good either.


Alice Racine (Rapace) is a CIA interrogation officer currently working in London behind a desk. This is by choice since she had, in her mind, failed to prevent a terrorist bombing in Paris a few years earlier.

The CIA and MI5 suspect an imminent biological attack on an “American target” in London initiated by an imam who has sent a messenger to one of his followers. The CIA intercepts the messenger in the hopes of extracting information and stopping the attack.

Racine is called in to interrogate the messenger by a man named Sutter but, during the interrogation, she receives a call from her superior for the same job. Realizing Sutter and his team are not really CIA, she shoots her way out and what follows is Racine’s efforts to unravel the mystery and stop the attack.

Apart from one or two instances of film and sound editing, the film is well-produced. The cinematography is quite conventional and unpretentious, which is good.

The film has a solid cast and everyone tries to sell it as best they can without overdoing it. It is good to see a female lead not younger than 35 years old and Rapace plays the action role convincingly.

Nonetheless, all the so-called plot twists are predictable. It’s not a spoiler to reveal that the attack is, at least in part, an “inside job”. The motivation is probably the most interesting thing: that it is a false flag so the US government has an excuse to usher in medical martial law, including measures such as quarantine camps and contact tracing and the like. Sound familiar?

Although released in 2017, principal photography was finished in early 2015. The film need not be a case of predictive programming since plenty has already happened by 2015 to suggest a plandemic in the future. It’s hardly a fresh idea but the timing is vaguely amusing.

Unlocked is not outright bad or boring but there just isn’t enough to make it good. It presumably is not intended to be a non-stop shoot ’em up, which is not a bad thing in itself. However, if it is to be predictable, then maybe a non-stop shoot ’em up with some innovative set pieces for the sake of light entertainment may make the film more worthwhile.


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