It’s been a long time since the original Bourne trilogy, and terrorism thrillers – even last year’s continuation of that franchise, Jason Bourne – don’t have quite the same appeal that they used to. I don’t know if it’s because we’re too far from the events of September 11, 2001, or if these movies can sometimes feel too fresh because we’re sadly never far enough from the latest devastating attack somewhere in the world, but a low-level B-movie about preventing a terrorist attack doesn’t feel like the norm anymore. And it feels especially weird when when a movie like that, in this case a film called Unlocked, is directed by an acclaimed documentary filmmaker like Michael Apted (the Up series).
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Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Unlocked was originally conceived over a decade ago – the trailer feels like something we’d be seeing in theaters around 2004 or so, at the height of Hollywood’s attempt to come to grips with the events of September 11, 2001. You have a heroic CIA interrogator (which has become something of an oxymoron) battling Islamic terrorists to prevent a biological attack in London. This thing looks like a throwback to the days when Jack Bauer was shooting out kneecaps and beating up ACLU lawyers on Fox’s 24. It feels positively ancient.
But maybe that’s part of the appeal? After all, 24 is back. Maybe it will be fun to watch Noomi Rapace and Orlando Bloom running around London shooting people while respected character actors furrow their brows in expository scenes where they have to talk about where bombs are located and who sold them out and so on. Maybe?
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