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


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