Release Date: November 1st, 2006 by IFC First Take.
The Cast: Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Joe Pantoliano, Barry Pepper, Jeremy Sisto, Bridget Moynahan, Peter Stormare, Clayne Crawford.
Directed by Simon Brand.
BASIC PREMISE: Five men wake up trapped in a warehouse without any memory of who they are or how they got there.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: As a hybrid of Saw and Memento, Unknown has initial suspense but quickly turns unimaginative and convoluted. Most of the plot seems stuck in the long second act as five men (Caviezel, Kinnear, Pantoliano, Pepper and Sisto) wake up trapped in an abandoned warehouse and gradually figure out who they are, how they got there, why they got there. None of the actors have enough material to stand out. Eventually, the local police go out on a search for the men after one of their wives (Moynahan) reports them as kidnapped. Later in the second act, the plot borrows from Mindhunters as the men suspect that one of them has to be the bad guy who put them there and, soon enough, they turn on each other. Unfortunately, the derivative script by Matthew Waynee goes around in circles and has too few surprises. Director Simon Brand confuses tension with hypnotic cinematography and a pulsating musical score, which adds some style but not nearly enough to make up for the meandering plot. Memento had a fun mystery for both the audience and the main character to figure out, but in Unknown, it feels very gimmicky, convoluted and ultimately underwhelming.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Unimaginative and meandering.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 6
IN A NUTSHELL: Hypnotic and stylish visuals donít make up for an meandering, unimaginative and convoluted plot.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "U" Menu