Five guys (Barry Pepper, Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Joe Pantoliano and Jeremy Sisko) wake up in an abandoned warehouse. It’s obvious that some of them hate each other as one of them is handcuffed and another bound. Unfortunately they’re suffering from collective amnesia.
From this startling beginning, reminiscent of the Saw trilogy, the plot moves into Reservoir Dogs territory when we see Eliza Coles (Bridget Moynahan) going to pay a ransom fee for her kidnapped husband under the watchful eye of the cops. Amnesia thrillers have been en vogue since Christopher Nolan’s masterful Memento but Unknown falls far short of any of the movies it tries to emulate because director Simon Brand has forgotten that it pays to develop characters. Unknown, with its fast cuts, bad monologues and psychedelic flashback sequences, relies too heavily on plot twists that are at best convoluted and more often just plain ludicrous. That said, the final pay off is great. It’s just a shame that we have to sit through a lot of dross and several mediocre performances before we get to the finale.
Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Odeon Fort Kinnaird Edinburgh from Fri 13 Apr.