In a decade, a massive chunk of our lives has ended up in our smartphones. Our daily lives depend heavily on this helpful yet addicting device that can deliver us the world with just a flick of a finger. What happens when our phone, a big part of our lives, ends up in strangers’ hands? Somebody who takes advantage of the situation? The Korean thriller UnLocked tries to answer that question.
The best kind of thriller is one with a plausible problem. A lost phone ending up in dangerous hands seems likely to happen to any of us. Though a good core problem is simply the start, everything else must fall into place for the thriller to work. UnLocked, as mentioned, has a good core problem and many excellent things going for it, but it still shows cracks by the end.
“I think it’s been hacked” – Lee Na Mi
Going into this Korean movie, I knew very little about it. Just the general plot point and a familiar face in one of the leading roles. By the way, not watching the trailer was a huge plus. It meant that many twists and turns surprised me, which made me enjoy UnLocked more. Had the movie ended sooner than it did, I might have even enjoyed it thoroughly.
The movie starts with a short introduction to our protagonist’ Lee Na Mi’s (Chun Woo-hee) everyday routine. We witness it through her phone, which showcases a vital message: Na Mi cannot live without her phone. That makes the moment she drops her phone on the bus feel especially menacing. We are immediately alert, knowing and following the villain, Oh Jun Yeong (Im Si-wan), and his actions.
Knowing the villain’s identity right away could be a downfall, but Im Si-Wan’s performance is way too good for that. He balances the trustworthy and creepy characteristics of Jun Yeong well until he is forced to reveal his monstrous side. Knowing his work from a Kdrama Run On, I had no doubts about this. Chun Woo-hee’s Na Mi doesn’t fall short. In addition, I appreciate a female lead who is strong-willed, capable and tough.
The subplot of UnLocked is about a father who works for the police, trying to stop his son. His son is no other than Jun Yeong. By the movie’s end, this subplot will have a few twists, which I enjoyed. But what bothers me now is that the big end twist created an enormous question! The very same question we never get an answer to, which is why I’m a little disappointed in UnLocked.
“How many days […] it took me […]? Three days.” – Oh Jun Yeong
Some movies leave things unanswered, but I cannot accept that with UnLocked. Without giving away any spoilers, UnLocked fails to provide a reason for the cause. Which inevitably lessens the effect of the movie.
That being said, UnLocked is still an enjoyable thriller with excellent cinematographic moments. It gets brutal and a little heavy, but if you sign up for that UnLocked tickles you the right way.
A Mettel Ray post! I haven’t heard of this, but I will look it up. I think about that sometimes, how screwed I would be if I really lost my phone. I use it for so many things.
I know right? I even surprised myself. And agreed, I do way too much on my phone. Losing or getting it hacked would be awful!