One’s pulse isn’t given much of a pounding in Michael Apted’s “Unlocked,” a straight-ahead political thriller that fails to ratchet up the requisite tension despite its timely subject matter and (largely) effective cast.
Former CIA interrogator Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace), an operative with a knack for “unlocking’ or extracting intel from suspects regarding impending threats, is called back from the sidelines by her European operations chief (John Malkovich) to help in averting a biological weapons attack.
Despite getting assistance from her mentor (Michael Douglas), Alice soon realizes that she’s been played by individuals misrepresenting their true intentions, forcing her to question her allegiances while attempting to stop the deadly terrorist plot.
Although Peter O’Brien’s script lays the foundation for some meaty intrigue, veteran director Michael Apted, no stranger to the genre, having guided 007 through his paces in 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough,” isn’t able to build on it to sufficiently gripping effect.
Which leaves reliable Rapace capably kicking traitorous butt without the benefit of a satisfying payoff, while the supporting players, including Toni Colette (looking very Annie Lennox-like) as a fellow agent, provide sturdy backup, with one notable exception.
That would be a miscast Orlando Bloom as a shady military vet, who despite his straggly hair and tattoos, transmits all the potentially lethal edge of a GQ cover boy.
Rating: R, for violence and language
Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Playing: AMC Dine-In Sunset 5, West Hollywood