‘Unlocked’ review: Noomi Rapace kills it in spy thriller

In this formulaic action film, Noomi Rapace plays a character who exudes the same steely deadliness, intelligence and resourcefulness of 007. Rating: 2 stars out of 4.

There’s been a lot of talk about who should be the next James Bond after Daniel Craig puts aside his shaken martini. Orlando Bloom? Idris Elba? Damian Lewis? After watching the formulaic spy thriller “Unlocked,” might we suggest Noomi Rapace?

Rapace, who rose to prominence in the original film adaptations of the Stieg Larsson novels — “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” — finds herself in a movie that could be called “The Girl at the Center of a Twisty-Turvy Global Terrorist Conspiracy Where No One Can Be Trusted, Even That Nice Guy Who Just Saved You From Killers.”

Rapace’s character, Alice Racine, drinks only water and beds no one in “Unlocked,” but she exudes the same steely deadliness, intelligence and resourcefulness of 007.

Movie Review ★★  

‘Unlocked,’ with Noomi Rapace, John Malkovich, Michael Douglas, Orlando Bloom. Directed by Michael Apted, from a screenplay by Peter O’Brien. 98 minutes. Rated R for violence and language. Several theaters.

“Tell me the target,” she says steadily and menacingly at one moment, as humorless and driven as Craig’s Bond.

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The plot of “Unlocked” is hard to explain without a spreadsheet since it’s a never-ending series of double-crosses in the global search for a Middle Eastern-led plan to use a biological weapon far worse than Ebola in London.

British intelligence agents, the CIA and double agents for both agencies suddenly have an urgent need for Alice, a former top interrogator who failed to stop a Paris terrorist bombing that killed two dozen people and still lives with the guilt. (Cue the montage of her working out her frustration by assaulting a heavy bag.)

“Unlocked” is directed by Michael Apted, who did the same with “The World Is Not Enough,” and some Bond must have rubbed off. Instead of Judi Dench, though, he’s got John Malkovich as a sardonic intelligence leader — and he’s terrific, a gleeful performance like one nasty snarl. Michael Douglas is a welcome addition, too, as Alice’s old friend and mentor. But less so is Bloom, who plays a mysterious…

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