Unlocked – Picture: Netflix

Netflix’s new Korean thriller, unlockednow it’s streaming, but should i give it a watch?

As noted in our review of the post-climate crisis sci-fi thriller JUNG_E last month, Netflix has taken note of the demand for more Korean content and lined up a massive slate of 34 upcoming titles this year, including 6 all-new original movies. .

After JUNG_E Starting off with modest reviews (including my lackluster review of «Pause»), Netflix and Korean movie fans are hoping for a better result with the latest Korean thriller dropping this weekend, unlockedthe debut feature from actor-turned-director Tae-joon Kim.

Based on the novel by Akira Shiga and adapted from the Japanese film Stolen Identity, unlocked centers on smartphone-obsessed Na-Mi who loses her phone after dropping it on the bus heading home from a night out with friends. After a stranger finds the phone, she returns it to him with spyware installed to track her every move. Na-Mi’s life is turned upside down as she and everyone close to her are at the mercy of the whims of this dangerous man.

The film stars Woo-hee Chun (be melodramatic; bong joonho Mother) as Na-Mi, Si-wan Yim (Tracer, the king loves) as the dangerous stranger known as Jun Yeong, and Kim Hee-won (The man from nowhere) as police officer Ji Man.

Chun Woo Hee Netflix Unlocked

Image: Netflix

Since smartphones and computers have been controlling our lives for some time, «hacker wreaking havoc on someone’s life through personal devices» is not a new plot. With this film, director Tae-joon Kim tries to update the story by dividing it between the 3 main characters: the victim, the criminal, and the officer who believes that the criminal may be his estranged son who is connected to a recent murder victim. . found in the mountains. In doing so, the film moves away from the standard «who didn’t do it» mystery to a more grisly analysis of how and why this stranger would ruin the life of a seemingly random woman.

While the cybercrime aspect of the story made me want to throw my cell phone into the ocean and install a land line once more, I felt like the three main characters didn’t quite catch on to me in their respective roles.
Na-Mi is your average victim with an incredibly thin personal connection to her stalker that develops after her phone is stolen. Her life is not particularly interesting nor is she intricately designed, so when her life is turned upside down, the drama is reduced until the stakes become potentially lethal at the end of the film.

netflix movie unlocked

Image: Netflix

The stalker we know for most of the movie as Jun Yeong has no real motive for his crimes. He’s a psycho, a liar and a decent hacker, but overall his presence in the movie doesn’t reach the level of escalation of his crimes. This is partly because Si-Wan Yim seems poorly cast for this type of role. He doesn’t convey creepy or a level of threat that denote a criminal of this level. He seems to play his character with a flat effect that barely moves the needle even as the danger increases. He also journals all of his intentions, which removes most of the surprise as the plot unfolds.

The only mysterious element in the story pertains to the connection between the detective working the case and our criminal lead. Although he quickly deduces that his estranged son is somehow involved, the detective still botches many aspects of the investigation, including identifying the criminal when he is caught at the end of the film. The plot reveals a late turn that gives us a more charged ending and a bloody showdown, but it’s not enough to save a more pedestrian crime drama before the conclusion.

General, unlocked it is not based on the inherently terrifying reality of cyberbullying that we could all face at any time. With seemingly no motive, very little personal connectivity, and a lack of presence in the characters that matter most, the film fails to bring this story to a boil.

Watch Unlocked on Netflix if you want to:

  • Stolen Identity
  • No Friends: Dark Web
  • You

Netflix Unlocked MVP

Park Ho-San as Na-Mi’s father.

While her character may not have had a great time, I did enjoy the father-daughter relationship between Park Ho-San’s character and Na-Mi. Their connection and chemistry lead to some of the most compelling scenes at the end of the movie. Park Ho-San continues to do well in Korean Netflix movies as he is quite good in The Call and Night in Paradise.



While it’s not a movie you’ll feel comfortable with on second screening, the less compelling narrative and main characters make you think it’s worth the risk.