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Action -Spies

Unlocked (2017)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain 16.
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorMichael Apted
Writers/ScriptPeter O’Brien
StarringNoomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, Michael Douglas, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.3 by 28,504 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 26% by 57 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: CIA interrogator Alice Racine, a lady with a patchy past is in semi-retirement working in a community centre in London when she is surprised to be re-activated by the London station to interrogate an Islamic terrorist. But she receives a call from headquarters alerting her to the fact that the agents in London have been turned by someone, so she has to escape. There-after with the assistance of an MI5 chief she pursues the authors of a plot to infect the population of London with a deadly virus, but both are faced with enemies within their own organisations.

Content: No nudity or sex, but I thought there was just a bit of alcohol consumption. Alice is buffeted from one crisis to another necessarily having to fight her way out of corners with one or two handguns. We also spend time in the CIA control room in America where the man in charge takes important decisions while apparently accepting setbacks with little concern. The characters spend time in East London council estates, but the lifts work. A sort of climax occurs in a London park  with snipers in the trees and a meeting involving an inflatable boat.

A View: Even after reading both the Wikipedia entry and the plot synopsis on IMDb I still have no real idea what was motivating all these turncoats. There are some weird interactions and no wonder Alice was confused. The critic generally found it formulaic, apart from the protagonist being a woman, and despite the fact that Noomi Rapace does very well, her performance is not quite enough to paper over the cracks in the plot. So if you choose to watch it you will in the end be confused, so you just have to go along with the flow. Maybe a watch for nothing while doing something else (Peter Sobczynski of Roger Ebert suggests unpacking a suitcase in a hotel room).

Additional info: Although being based in London most of the filming was done in Prague with the UK capital only being used for six days.  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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