Unlocked

"Good"

Unlocked Review


By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds the attention and keeps the audience entertained, even when things get very silly indeed. And because of the tone, the starry actors get the chance to add quirky angles to their characters that remind us to avoid taking anything that happens too seriously. The terrorism plot may strain to be topical and relevant, but it's the corny plotting and lively banter that keeps a smile on our faces.

It's set in London, where former CIA operative Alice (Noomi Rapace) is trying to have a quiet life working with migrants. When one of these, Lateef (Aymen Hamdouchi), appears to be a jihadist planning an attack, she shifts into action mode, consulting her mentor (Michael Douglas) and her MI5 contact (Toni Collette). Then things take a turn, sending her on the run with a shifty ex-marine (Orlando Bloom). With Alice seen as a rogue agent, the American CIA chief (John Malkovich) joins in the hunt. But she's actually the only person who knows the truth: the Muslims are trying to stop a murderous attack that's being orchestrated by someone inside the agency.

Veteran director Michael Apted keeps things moving so briskly that the audience never has much time to worry about the nonsensical details that are flung around in each conversation. The film is a riot of conspiracies, betrayals, codewords, revelations and ticking time bombs, none of which make much sense, but it's a lot of fun to watch a woman taking charge for once. Rapace makes a terrific action hero, tough and sympathetic while still maintaining a sense of mystery.

Everyone around her chomps merrily on the scenery. Douglas and Bloom get some wonderfully deranged moments of their own, while Malkovich deploys his wicked comical timing to maximum effect. But it's Collette who steals the show as the sarcastic bleached-blonde who refuses to put up with any nonsense. Frankly, her big Rambo moment is a guilty pleasure highlight of the year.

Essentially yet another formulaic action romp, the elevation of female characters into the central roles sets the film apart. As does some subtle subtext that quietly explores the fact that true believers know that peace is the only way forward, while Western governments ignore collateral damage and subjugate their own populations through over-reaching laws like the Patriot Act. None of this is obvious in a movie aimed at fans of big, dumb action. But it does give a hint of meaning to the enjoyable carnage.

Watch the trailer for Unlocked:



Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 11 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 1st October 2006

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Claudia Bluemhuber, Erik Howsam, Georgina Townsley

Starring: as Jack Alcott, as Alice Racine, as Eric Lasch, as Emily Knowles, as Bob Hunter

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.