Espionage in movies is hard to come by these days especially with comic-book-heavy-influenced blockbusters filling nearly every single summer.
Unlocked (Lionsgate Films) changes that by bringing you the classic movie genres of suspense and thriller combined into a well-told story that gives you a satisfying conclusion as well as a powerful message.
I went into this movie with no expectations. A quick look of the trailer and the sight of Orlando Bloom was enough to peak my interest, just to see how this actor played out without being really concerned about who he plays. I can’t say that I am a fan but you’ve got to anchor off something right?
My first impression of the movie after a few scenes was, “This is practically like Bourne but without Bourne!” and that was a refreshing thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Bourne movies except for the extended suspense moment that often leads to a sudden drop of the ball with a death or explosion of action.
Unlocked brings the heat in a similar fashion but in a more tight knit and quick action you could expect from high intelligence agencies like the CIA or MI5.
Without giving too much away, the story focuses on Alice (played by Noomi Rapace – you may know her from Prometheus), a CIA Interrogator who is plagued by a misfortunate past that has led her take a step back from her career to deal with less compromising situations.
Fate pulls her back into the fray as she is forced to play her role in a story involving more than just two sides.
What’s great about this movie is that it sets the stage for what you could expect from an espionage thriller – the tension, suspense, doubt, conspiracy and just the right amount of action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The director has a way of making you watch a scene that looks completely fine but implants the notion that something, or anything for that matter, can go wrong very fast. You could expect this from the horror genre every time but to see this work so well in a conspiracy setting just draws you in effortlessly despite your complete comprehension of the situation.
In other words, you don’t need to be a secret agent to know when trouble is brewing but this movie lets your own assumptions and doubts drive you through the play in motion.
That’s a rare situation for you to be in with movies these days as we’re often spoonfed what the director is trying to say or do. That’s a talent worth appreciating and as an audience, worthy of mention. Bravo to Michael Apted!
It’s hard to say whether this movie is for anyone with a keen eye for action and espionage because it still does hold a high bar for detail – one quick toilet break will definitely set you off track for one crucially fact filled conclusion.
But it is no doubt that this movie delivers the quality you could expect in the upcoming summer hits. It has strong leads, dynamic story arcs, a thought-provoking moral and satisfying conclusion that makes your adrenaline rush all the more worth it.