Starring Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, Michael Douglas, John Malkovich,
Don’t be fooled by that all-star cast, or even the lure of a having a real female Jason Bourne type film (Sorry Atomic Blond, you failed). Unlocked is directed by Michael Apted, who, if you know anything about his films: Chasing Mavericks, Enough, The World is Not Enough, are all forgettable. Unlocked is slightly more entertaining than the last Bourne film, mostly thanks to the Rapace (Prometheus, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) performance. The script is by Peter O’Brien who has no screenwriting experience. His only credits are on Halo video games, so this project was really doomed even before it was cast. Somehow a talented cast emerges to at least keep you watching, but an action film needs a lot more than just characters who are not what they seem.
Following a disastrous terrorist operative that left 24 civilians dead in Paris, CIA interrogator Alice Racine is now a desk bound informant at her own request. Her MI5 contact Emily Knowles (Collette) keeps her up to speed on the cooperation between American and British intelligence. Alice is ordered to report for duty when a messenger, believed to be carrying a specific message for a terror plot is apprehended. She quickly assesses that things are not what they seem, understanding her compromised position, she flees, leaving both governments suspecting her of flipping sides. Her US handler Eric Lasch (Douglas) sends her to a safe house where burglar Jack Alcott (Bloom) is at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Two of the best scenes in this cheesy film involve Oscar nominated Collette (The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) who has for years been downgraded to nothing more than just a supporting player in B-rate movies. A skype call with the Aussie actress and Malkovich is brief but entertaining as the squabble over intelligence and jurisdiction. In another surprise moment, Collette finds herself armed with a machine gun, and not afraid to use it. For the first hour, big name supporting players continue to showing up, giving the viewer hope this might turn out to be something worthwhile. Bloom is the real low point, known more for his celebrity than acting chops, he only distracts from the other heavy hitters.
While I can’t call Unlocked predictable, because it prides itself on doing the opposite of what you expect, most of the “turns” are never justified or grounded. Outside of the actors you recognize, there are an extraordinary amount of named characters here with so many allegiances, the story does require an amount of focus from the audience. It’s not a satisfying thriller, nor is it a particularly well shot or blocked on either. The filmmakers have neither the budget or the expertise to make Unlocked anything more than a cheesy thriller you might catch on a flight when you have seen everything else.
Suspenseful in a ridiculous way, but never satisfying.