Review: Netflix's Korean Drama 'Unlocked' Offers Style but Lacks Thrilling Impact

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Review: Netflix's Korean Drama 'Unlocked' Offers Style but Lacks Thrilling Impact

Review: Netflix's Korean Drama 'Unlocked' Offers Style but Lacks Thrilling Impact


In a unique approach, director Kim Tae-joon's Korean drama "Unlocked," available on Netflix, centers around a plot driven by one woman's dependence on her smartphone. However, despite its stylish presentation, the story falls short of delivering genuine thrills.

The narrative kicks off with Lee Na-mi (portrayed by Chun Woo-hee) losing her phone, which serves as her lifeline. It's soon revealed that the device has been stolen by the peculiar Jun-yeong (Im Si-wan). While the culprit is known from the start, the mystery lies in what he intends to do with it.

The tension escalates when it becomes apparent that Jun-yeong is no ordinary thief. He returns the phone to Na-mi equipped with a secret tracking device, setting off a chain of events that targets not only her but also her father and career, causing a strain in her relationship with her best friend.

"Unlocked" attempts to instill a sense of fear and paranoia surrounding our increasing reliance on these small gadgets. While this serves as the film's underlying message, the execution falls short, as the situations presented feel implausible, and the storyline lacks coherence. Despite efforts to create an aura of menace, the villain's character ultimately elicits boredom rather than intrigue. Kim Tae-joon's stylish camera work adds visual flair, but it cannot compensate for the tiresome narrative.

The character development in "Unlocked" is also lacking. Jun-yeong's father (Kim Hee-won), burdened by guilt due to his estrangement from his son for seven years, is weakly written, as is the naive Na-mi. Most of the supporting characters come across as bland, appearing fleetingly without leaving a lasting impression. Na-mi's best friend is a prime example, lacking the emotional range needed to bring conviction to her role.

On a positive note, "Unlocked" offers a more subdued tone compared to typical K-dramas, avoiding excessive melodrama and exaggerated performances.

In summary, while "Unlocked" showcases a stylish aesthetic and avoids exaggerated theatrics, it fails to deliver a compelling and engaging narrative. The characters and their interactions lack depth, leaving viewers with a feeling of detachment.

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