Noomi Rapace as CIA agent Alice Racine in Unlocked. Picture: Supplied

The Michael Apted directed spy thriller Unlocked comes as a surprise with a topical premise, great performances and a female-led film with real grit.

Rating: 3.5/5

'Unlocked' sees CIA agent Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace) being called in to “unlock” a prisoner in an effort to save countless lives from a terror attack.

During the interrogation, she discovers the necessary information but finds that she has been fooled by a mole and must escape and get the information to the real CIA office. While spy thrillers are nothing new, having a female-led film with anyone not named Scarlett Johansson is something of a rarity.


And while Rapace’s performance initially seems very cold and distant, once the character’s back story is revealed, it becomes clear why she is portraying the characters in such a manner that creates depth. She is also one bad ass CIA agent.

Rapace is very convincing in all the action scenes and fully inhabits the character she is portraying.

The supporting cast is quite phenomenal with supporting roles by Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, John Malkovich and Michael Douglas. Apted really gets great performances from each of them and the actors are fully engaged in the seriousness of the film’s premise.

Furthermore, the screenwriters do a great job of giving the actors meaty dialogue and the twist and turns within the film are mostly unexpected. And when the real antagonist is revealed it comes out of left field which is a job well done for any screenwriter. The action scenes are filled with a ton of tension and filmed well. Nothing annoys me more than watching a fight scene and the director using the shaky cam technique to hide the fact that he/ she can’t film a fight scene properly.

The cinematography is also very beautiful with the panned shots of the London cityscape and beautiful shots of the inner city. Overall, it really is amazing to watch a film where the men are placed in secondary roles and the women in the film are the ones saving the day. Rapace really gives a stellar performance and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next.