London’s Clock Is Ticking in the First ‘Unlocked’ Trailer
Since the presidential election, many critics have been quick to point out that not every film released should be viewed as a response to Trump’s presidency. Movies spend far too much time in production for any 2017 to really have a chance to incorporate the current political climate into its message. What is acceptable — and perhaps even necessary — is to acknowledge when new releases feel like the product of a bygone era. Sometimes, Hollywood is unprepared for large cultural shifts, and that means movies that would have been fine even a year ago sit wrong with most audiences.
That was my reaction to the first theatrical trailer for Unlocked (via /Film). I can honestly say I’m of two minds about the film. On the one hand, Unlocked looks to be one of the more polished Bourne spin-offs of the past few years; not only does the film have an award-winning director behind the camera — Michael Apted was an ’80s wunderkind with Gorillas in the Mist and Coal Miner’s Daughter — it also features a fantastic female lead in Noomi Rapace and a sterling supporting cast. There may come a time in my life where a movie featuring Michael Douglas, John Malkovich, and Toni Collette doesn’t do it for me, but today is not that day. Throw in a newly dirtbag Orlando Bloom and you’ve got yourself the making of a taunt little spy thriller.
Of course, there’s also a political element to the film that’s hard to ignore. While Unlocked probably seemed like a fun little espionage thriller on paper, there’s no denying that the cultural landscape has shifted quite a bit since the film went into production. World leaders have found they can stoke fear and anger towards the Muslim community to achieve their goals — fear and anger primarily brought upon by ignorance or lack of exposure to their religion — and Unlocked seems to be tapping into that same misguided paranoia. It may not be fair to single out Unlocked for doing something countless other movies have done, but at some point, we have to ask ourselves why we keep returning to this same well.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see how Unlocked is received. It’s certainly possible that the film is both an exciting action-thriller and a frustrating display of harmful stereotypes; how people choose to talk about Unlocked might just be a good barometer for how Hollywood as a whole is doing right now.
Unlocked will hit British theaters on May 5, 2017.