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Unlocked (2/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 98 minutes


This review abounds in spoilers so be forewarned.

Back in the day before Hollywood became populated with producers and directors who foist their political ideology on unsuspecting audiences, movies fearlessly identified their bad guys as real bad guys. For instance, during World War II the bad guys were Nazis and Japanese. I can’t remember a movie from that era that showed subversive characters and ideas as American, except films written by those who came to constitute The Hollywood 10 (John Howard Lawson, Dalton Trumbo, and their ilk) who slavishly followed Stalin’s directions to use art as a weapon by subtly inserting Communist propaganda into their scripts.

According to Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley in Hollywood Party, “Paul Jarrico bragged that the party smuggled its ideology into all sorts of movies, claiming that the line he gave Burgess Meredith in Tom, Dick, and Harry, ‘I don’t believe in every man for himself. I get lonesome,’ became the battle cry of the Chinese Red Army."

Not unsurprisingly Unlocked co-stars Michael Douglas, the son of Kirk, who was the useful idiot (Lenin’s term) who gave Trumbo his entrée back into Hollywood by giving him credit for the script for Spartacus (1960).

This movie is nothing more than agitprop, of which The Hollywood Ten would be proud. With Islamic Terrorism rampant throughout the world, this movie is about a terrorist who is an American with no Islamic ties. The director using art as a weapon today is Michael Apted, who is a big supporter of Obama and Hillary, so it figures. Neither Obama nor Hillary could say the words “Islamic Terrorists” and apparently neither can Apted.

Sure, there are Islamists in the film, but they aren’t terrorists and they aren’t bad guys. They are just empathetic, reasonable people. No, the bad guys are white, nondenominational, and mostly Americans.

Also, following a current theme, the James Bondish hero is a woman, Alice Racine (Noomi Rapace), who can take on any attacker who is man enough to stand up to her. This follows apace upon movies about two other superheroines, the puerile, cartoonish Wonder Woman and the much more entertaining Atomic Blonde. I guess that to make it in today’s Hollywood one must not only eschew attacking the most vicious force in the world today, Islamic terrorism, but must also portray the only kind of people who can fight against badness as female.

Another thing about modern thrillers that is epitomized by this one is that they are incomprehensible and have little or no internal cohesion. In order to sit through these films one must put credibility aside and not try to figure out the logic of what one is seeing on the screen. Because there is no logic to these films. Non sequitur follows upon non sequitur. You just have to give up reason, watch, and leave.

The plot is that someone is out to distribute a virus so virulent that it will kill thousands. Twist follows upon twist follows upon twist. There are so many of them that they cease being surprising. For a while it’s entertaining. Then it becomes tedious.

When you find out who the bad guy is and, worse, the reason s/he’s doing it (there, I didn’t give anything away), you might want to demand your money back because the motive for why the villain does what s/he does is one of the most idiotic in the history of intelligent thought.