Unlocked (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 28, 2017 by  

Michael Apted’s “Unlocked” has the potential of becoming a spy thriller series showcasing CIA Agent Alice Racine.  Noomi Rapace shines but the film often gets muddled in its own complexities of character twists and turns.  But still, a character with great potential and would love to see this as a beginning to a female spy thriller film series showcasing Rapace’s Alice Racine.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Unlocked


DURATION: 98 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English, English SDH and Spanish

COMPANY: Lionsgate

RATED: R (Violence and Language)

RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2017

Directed by Michael Apted

Screenplay by Peter O’Brien

Produced by Claudia Bluemhuber, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Georgina Townsley, Erik Howsam

Co-Producer: Cort Kristensen

Executive Producer: Andrew Boswell, Irene Gall, Peter Hampden, Erik Howsam, Norman Merry, Kevan Van Thompson

Music by Stephen Barton

Cinematography by George Richmond

Edited by Andrew MacRitchie

Casting by Leo Davis, Lissy Holm

Production Design by Ondrej Nekvasil

Art Direction by Stefan Kovacik

Set Decoration by Beatric Brentnerova

Costume Design by Bojana Nikitovic


Noomi Rapace as Alice Racine

Orlando Bloom as Jack Alcott

Toni Collette as Emily Knowles

John Malkovich as Bob Hunter

Michael Douglas as Eric Lasch

Matthew Marsh as Sutter

Makram Khoury as Yazid Khaleel

Brian Caspe as Ed Romley

Philip Brodie as Wilson

Tosin Cole as Amjad

Michael Epp as David Mercer

Tom Reed as Buzz

Raffaello Degruttola as Payne 

Noomi Rapace leads the all-star cast of this intense, London-set spy-thriller. She plays undercover CIA agent Alice Racine, charged with preventing an upcoming biological terror attack. But when violence erupts, Alice realizes her CIA colleagues (Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, and Toni Collette) may be trying to eliminate her to cover their tracks. On the run, she must rely on the help of a tough cat burglar (Orlando Bloom) to survive – and to save the city from catastrophic devastation.

From filmmaker Michael Apted (“The World is Not Enough”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “Enough”, “Gorillas in the Midst”) and writer Peter O’Brien comes the American thriller “Unlocked”.

The film stars Noomi Rapace (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”, “Prometheus”), Orlando Bloom (“The Lord of the Rings” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” films), Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, “United States of Tara”), John Malkovich (“Dangerous Liaisons”, “Being John Malkovich”, “Empire of the Sun”), Michael Douglas (“The Game”, “Falling Down”, “Basic Instinct”, “Ant-Man”) and many more.

And the film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment in November 2017.

Another terrorist attack is imminent and the CIA is in need of a highly skilled interrogator.

Try to uncover leads about the potential attack in the U.S. is Bob Hunter (John Malkovich) and in London, Emily Knowles (portrayed by Toni Collette) and Bob wants to bring in CIA Interrogator, Alice Racine (portrayed by Noomi Rapace).

Alice hasn’t been involved in years since being unable to unlock an interrogation suspect which lead to the deaths of dozens of innocent people in Paris.  Now, living a quiet life as a casework in London, she’s contacted by the CIA to interrogate a subject.

When she goes to interrogate the subject setup by the London Station, she is able to extract information but before giving it to the authorities, she goes to the bathroom to call her contact in the CIA and finds out that they need her for an interrogation of a subject.  But she tells her contact at the CIA that she’s already on it as London Station has brought her in.  Her contact tells them that they never authorized that and Alice realizes she’s in trouble.

When she goes out to talk to the men posing as the London Station and sees a reflection with a weapon aimed at her, she manages to convince them that she’s still interrogating the subject and she manages to escape alongside with him.  But the men manage to kill the suspect and Alice runs the only person that can help her, retired CIA Eric Lasch (portrayed by Michael Douglas).

But not long after, men attack Lasch’s home and before they kill Eric, he tells her to go to his other home and to leave.

When Alice goes to the house, it’s in the process of being burglarized by a man named Jack Alcott (portrayed by Orlando Bloom).  Alice manages to tie the burglar up but he manages to kick the phone and listens to her conversation and finds out that she’s in deep trouble.

When Alice finds out that Bob has sent authorities to detain her, she tries to escape but is shocked by authorities and then rescued by Jack.

The two escape and Jack tells her that he is a former soldier and he can help her and he is probably the only one he can trust.  So, Alice and Jack seek out the people responsible and tries to prevent a deadly biological attack on the citizens of London.


“Unlocked” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality showcases wonderful closeup details, skin tones look natural.  I saw no artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of the film.


“Unlocked” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  Dialogue is crystal clear and there are numerous scenes with many gun shots that you can hear bullets whizzing through the surround channels.  But dialogue and music is crystal clear.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.


“Unlocked” comes with the following special features:

  • Making Unlocked – (13:25) A featurette about the making of “Unlocked” and interview with the cast and crew.
  • Trailer Gallery

Quite often we come upon thrillers about pending terrorist attacks and brave individual(s) who risk their lives to stop them.

While the majority of the characters that we see are high-ranking agents, Michael Apted’s “Unlock” revolves around a top CIA interrogator brought back into the fold to interrogate a possible suspect in order to stop a deadly biological attack.

But when Alice Racine interrogates the subject in her current hometown of London, she finds out through the CIA that they were contacting her and never assigned her to interrogate anyone.

This leads to Alice trying to stop the attack on her own, as the CIA has been compromised and not knowing who she can turn to.

If anything, the film is interesting because it has a storyline similar to a season of the past TV series “24”  where the terrorists may not appear to be who they are and the trouble may be brewing within the inside.

As we saw what happened with the success of films such as “Bourne Identity”, “Taken”, “Olympus Has Fallen”/”London Has Fallen” and as mentioned, the TV series “24”, these have produced thriller films with male leads that have became quite successful.

But what about a female agent?  And I think this is where Alice Racine could be the future of more films showcasing a female agent taking down terrorists cells.  It has the potential but it always depends on how much audience are vested in the original.

“Unlocked” is an action thriller about a top CIA interrogator named Alice Racine, who took on a desk job in London after a suspect that she was supposed to unlock (interrogation of a courier who can set a plan to go in motion or stop it)  fails and dozens of people were killed in a terrorist attack in Paris.

But now another major threat is now happening in London and the only person that is close by who can do it is Alice Racine but she hasn’t done it in two years.  As Alice is contacted by the London Station to unlock a suspect, while making a call to the CIA to update them on what is going on, she finds out that they never authorized it yet, as they were unable to get in contact with her.

So, who are the people who authorized her to unlock the suspect?  And when she sees a reflect of a man with a silencer aimed at her head, she knows immediately that she is in trouble and will be killed.  So, she tries to escape with the suspect (who gets shot and killed) and is now a target.  But who is responsible?  And will she be able to stop this biological attack on the citizens of London?

While I loved watching Noomi Rapace as CIA Agent Alice Racine, part of the problem with the film is that it tries to pull the “everyone can not be trusted” card.  And it doesn’t help as it seems the CIA and the London Station have both been compromised.

But it’s a race around the clock and the film features enough twist and turns that it makes the film thrilling to watch but you can’t feel that the film goes off onto too many tangents that it gets muddled within its own complexities of twist and turns and too many people betraying Alice that it becomes a bit tiring.  Yes, we saw this on episodes of “24” before but while banal, I still believe in the potential of Alice Racine’s character.

The Blu-ray features wonderful detail, especially during closeups.  Lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and music captures the action sequences for its surround channels.  As for special features, there is a making featurette and a trailer gallery.

Overall, Michael Apted’s “Unlocked” has the potential of becoming a spy thriller series showcasing CIA Agent Alice Racine.  Noomi Rapace shines but the film often gets muddled in its own complexities of character twists and turns.  But still, a character with great potential and would love to see this as a beginning to a female spy thriller film series showcasing Rapace’s Alice Racine.

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