Some movies make it to the theater and some don’t. Occasionally, the films in the theater, say in the months of January and August, seem like films that required incredible luck or will to get produced; periodically, there’s a diamond-in-the-rough film that can only be seen on home media that provides more entertainment than one would expect. In the case of Noomi Rapace’s spy thriller, Unlocked, the film you never heard of may be better than what you’d expect.
Rapace plays Alice Racine, a CIA interrogator who has left the field over intense feelings of shame and responsibility. She was called in several years ago to interrogate a terrorist, and the subsequent assignment didn’t save twenty-four people from being bombed. Licking her wounds, she’s a screener for potential terrorist suspects, but never in the field. When a terrorist cell materializes, she’s called in, but her old instincts warn her that even her friends may be foes.
Racine interrogates a messenger conveying instructions between an imam and an American converted to terrorism. Realizing that there is another entity seeking the same information as her CIA/MI6 managers, she goes on the run – even as the terrorists’ biological warfare is unleashed. Running to the players she knew once, Emily Knowles (Toni Collette) and Eric Lasch (Michael Douglas), she finds herself twisting in circles because no one wants the truth to get out.
Rapace proves capable of a Salt-like performance, even if some of the plot points prove too obvious. Directed by Michael Apted (The World is Not Enough), and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Shooter, Transformers, Salt, Red), the film has the ingredients to be excellent. While it never completely hits the notes it aims for, it’s still better than plenty of what’s out there, with a focus on what it takes for one woman to shake off her ghosts and be heroic in the midst of institutional corruption.
Special features are limited to the “making of” featurette and the trailer gallery.