Unlocked (2017) Review: Unseen, Unremembered.
There are movies that stick with you, lingering on for days, weeks, months, even years after you leave the cinema. Movies that will go so far as to influence the way people think or act. Movies that become a part of a culture. Then there are movies like ‘Unlocked’, which as I write this, I struggle to even recount it, much less review it. The type of movie that, much like the content covered in this spy thriller, will go unseen by most, as if it never even happened.
While I was watching ‘Unlocked’ I did find myself enjoying the events as they unfolded. The film opens with a snapshot of the diversity of London life. People from all walks of life interacting with one another. The film’s plot involves CIA agent Alice Racine, as she is brought it to interrogate a suspect in a potential terrorist threat. While there seems to be the foundation of a film that could provide a meaningful look at Islamaphobia, racial bias, and other issues surrounding the subject matter, ‘Unlocked’ has neither the deftness nor the intelligence to provide it.
That can be best explained by its main character. Alice Racine is quite possibly one of the impossibly smartest stupid characters there is. Throughout the film, she will be referred to by others for her incredible skills, skills which she will no doubt demonstrate, only to make a mistake that wouldn’t get by a twelve-year-old. The plot more or less follows this line of thinking, having moments of brilliance, but then devolving into convention and cliche at the drop of a hat embedded with classified information. It feels like it’s playing dress up as a spy movie
Action in the movie is fine, and it does a good job of moving from point a to point b, but you don’t really care about the film as it goes on. Alice has some personal demons that are only dealt with on the surface level, not that I was invested enough to go much deeper than that. ‘Unlocked’ is not bad enough to be offensive, in fact, I almost wish it were. The worst movies aren’t the ones that make your blood boil, they’re the ones that leave no impression at all.
The saving grace of the film is it’s impossibly stellar cast. Clearly, there seems to have been a mix up of sorts, as the film is filled with extremely heavy hitters. Toni Collette, Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, Noomi Rapace, so many accomplished and entertaining forces of acting prowess in this film. Orlando Bloom is also there. The script doesn’t give them much to do besides carrying out a cartoonish and cliched depiction of international espionage, but even at his worst Michael Douglas can deliver a line. Overall, if I were to see this on television, I wouldn’t hate it. It’s a short film, only 98-minutes long, that is perfectly fine if you catch it on cable.
Rating: Catch It On Cable.