It shouldn’t take a movie for people to understand that their dangerous connection to technology will not end well in the long run.
It’s easy to look at a generation obsessed with their cell phones and see an unhealthy connection that humans have with modern technology. When the world introduces things such as AI that has the ability to take over human productivity, microchips that have the power to reduce humanity to nothing more than QR codes, and giving unelected bureaucracies the power to control everything that you watch and spend; the dangers of weaponized technology have been told before the film ‘Unlocked.’
Imagine if an unseen figure had the ability to go through your phones, your computers, and your tablets and see every picture and video that you have created without you even being aware. The technology has already existed for decades and this scenario has already happened to you multiple times without your knowledge.
This is what makes a film like ‘Unlocked’ unsettling for modern audiences. You’re watching a protagonist systematically get her life destroyed thanks to everything stored on the phone. This film can and has happened to everyone whether you realize it or not.
‘Unlocked’ is a film about a young woman named Lee Na-Mi (Chun Woo-Hee) who works as a marketer at a start-up company. Na-Mi lives a life as an office worker who also works part-time at her father’s cafe, Cafe Mizi. Na-Mi loses her phone on the bus and it is picked up by a stranger. Oh Jun-Yeong (Im Si-Wan) uses a fake voice app to speak so his voice won’t be recognized but Jun-Yeong has a very dark past.
Jun-Yeong installs spyware on her phone that allows him to see and hear everything that Na-Mi can see and hear. Suddenly, her life begins to crumble and she has no idea that one of the most dangerous men in Korea has her in her sights.
There are billions of people out there who still believe the myth that their phone is the most secure thing in their lives. However, we all know someone who the second they lose their phone or their phone is up in the hands of the wrong person completely freak out because their entire life can be exposed to two eyes that they don’t approve of.
Lee Na-Mi is a naive young woman living her life like most do having no idea that she’s being hunted by one of the most cerebral predators in her region. ‘Unlocked’ is a surprisingly well-paced film for a movie that stretches out a near 2 hour runtime. This is due to the fact that the film has a great ability to counterbalance its subplots so that one doesn’t go on too long weighing out the others.
The film is told from three perspectives: the girl who is being targeted by a psychopath, the psychopath who stays two steps ahead of everyone on this path, and the duo of detectives investigating an unrelated case but manages to find themselves smack dab in the middle of this conflict.
The dynamic allows the film to grab the attention of the viewers and hold it as it continues to progress the story through the eyes of our protagonist. One of the interesting arguments against this film is that the plot is too contrived or too unbelievable that something like this can happen.
However, that argument plays into the protagonist’s naïve worldview which is how a situation like this can happen in the first place. Many people think that they’re too smart to fall for deceptions like this when they’re exactly the type of people this film is trying to warn.
The average person can’t even fathom just how intrusive outsiders are when it comes to the personal space of their phones.
‘Unlocked’ is a great film that plays up the reality of these fears while stretching the limits of his genre making it one of the few satisfying recommends for the platform of Netflix.