Michael Apted is a versatile and prolific director who’s never quite received top status. He’s done James Bond – the World is Not Enough – but also The Coal Miner’s Daughter, Ptang Yang Kipperbang, Gorillas in the Mist, Class Action, Enigma, even a Narnia, the Dawn Treader.
Perhaps deservedly he’s still best-known for 7 Up, now called just the Up series. We’re at 56 now, the last instalment in 2012, so we’ve got a couple of years more to wait…
Til then, here’s Unlocked, which is deliriously ridiculous sleeper spy stuff, starring the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Noomi Rapace as a Alice Racine, a former CIA super spy now lying dormant in Newham Housing office and feeding snippets of intelligence about immigrants to MI5, which is run by Toni Colette while she seems to be auditioning for the lead in The Annie Lennox Story.
Rapace’s Racine is sparked back into action by London station boss Michael Douglas, who lives on Highbury Fields according to his movie. When they both come under attack from sinister assassins, he has some of his ex-wife’s clothes in his closet she can change into – I’m sure I spotted the V-neck he wore in Basic Instinct.
Noomi then runs round various London rooftops and bumps into Orlando Bloom doing a cockney accent. When she ties him up and puts tape over his mouth, the audience cheered.
I did find it tasteless that this was yet another movie demonising Moslems, immams and kebab shops.
That said, the action is good and the biological germ warfare threat plot is perilous enough to propel things along, in a Bourne type of a way involving a climax at a big stadium that looks like Wembley but can’t be because there’s no arch – did they refuse the film maker’s rights to use the image and insist the arch was removed in post-production?