Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, Akshay Kumar, Aymen Hamdouchi, Adelayo Adedayo, Brian Caspe, Tosin Cole, Philip Brodie
Written by: Peter O'Brien
Directed by: Michael Apted
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language
Running Time: 98
Date: 09/01/2017
IMDB

Unlocked (2017)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Terror of Bad News

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Unique only for its casting of a woman in a traditionally male role, this stagnant thriller is staggeringly dull and convoluted, alternating between numbing exposition and stale, creaky action scenes.

In Unlocked, former CIA agent Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace) is haunted by her failure to prevent a terrorist attack in Paris, and now works in an office, as a social worker. When intel points to a possible new attack, Alice is the only one that can help, and, despite her reluctance, her old superior (Michael Douglas) calls her back into action.

While questioning a captured suspect, she discovers that the mission has been compromised. While escaping with her life, she crosses paths with a cat burglar (Orlando Bloom), who stays on to lend a hand. As she gets closer to discovering the source of the evil plot, she begins to discover that she can trust no one.

It's shocking that director Michael Apted made this; he's a 40 year-veteran with credits like Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park, and Thunderheart on his resume, as well as entries in the James Bond and Narnia franchises. With Unlocked, it feels like he's asleep, or doesn't care at all. The movie's supposed surprise twists are lazily doled out, and the scenes appear to have been assembled in a kind of random order, based on genre formulas.

Veterans Toni Collette, Michael Douglas, and John Malkovich chew the scenery with some enthusiasm — especially the latter — almost as if no one were directing them. A weirdly miscast Orlando Bloom has already drawn harsh criticism for his wobbly accent.

But Noomi Rapace is the biggest shame; her character seems like it was written for a male and not changed much, or at all, for her. It's not unique in any way, and has no strong female characteristics; she just runs and jumps and hits and shoots. This might have been the start of a new franchise, but instead it's a sad mistake.

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