Saturday 1 June 2024

Movie Review: Unlocked (2017)

Genre: Espionage Thriller  
Director: Michael Apted  
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Douglas, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich  
Running Time: 98 minutes  

Synopsis: In London, CIA Agent Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace) is an interrogation specialist traumatized by her inability to prevent a bombing in Paris two years ago. She is called back to active service to interrogate an apprehended courier who holds key information about an impending terrorist attack involving biological weapons. Her assignment quickly spirals into a race against time involving Alice's ex-boss Eric Lasch (Michael Douglas), former soldier Jack Alcott (Orlando Bloom), MI5 Intelligence Chief Emily Knowles (Toni Collette), and CIA Europe Division Chief Bob Hunter (John Malkovich).

What Works Well: This a smart, well-constructed, fast-paced, and twist-filled thriller. Writer Peter O'Brien minimizes over-the-top action scenes in favour of strategic and tactical surprises, rewarding concentration, thoughtfulness, and anticipation. With an emphasis on efficiency, veteran director Michael Apted maintains control over content-rich plot machinations fueled by a trust deficit. Noomi Rapace leads a stellar cast with a combination of grim determination and resourcefulness, while Orlando Bloom, John Malkovich, Toni Collette, and Michael Douglas add quality in smallish roles.

What Does Not Work As Well: With so much going on, it's no surprise that some of the details get frazzled, and important characters are short-changed in a crowded cast list. 

Conclusion: Unlocks refreshingly serious spy schemes.

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