Five men awaken in a warehouse with no way out and no recollection of how they got there, only to struggle with their suspicion of each other as they try to piece together their story from available clues. One (Greg Kinnear) has a broken nose, while another (Jeremy Sisto) is handcuffed to a pipe and slowly dying from a gunshot wound. Two (Barry Pepper and Jim Caviezel) are unhurt, while the fifth (Joe Pantoliano) is tied to a chair--which is how the group wish to keep him until they figure out why he got that way. Meanwhile, the police are tracking a sinister man in snakeskin boots (Peter Stormare) with a connection to the group, and a worried wife (Bridget Moynihan) of one of the men searches desperately for her husband. But will the men kill each other out of suspicion before finding a way out of the warehouse'
The second half of the '90s saw a spate of neo-noirs inspired by Tarantino's supercharged RESERVOIR DOGS. Christopher Nolan's MEMENTO (2000), though in obvious debt to Tarantino, was a breathtakingly new shot in the arm for the genre. Simon Brand's UNKNOWN is a brainy and verbose melding of the two. Making its low budget work in its favor, the script could easily be performed on a stage, as the locations number in the low single digits. Though many young pulp-drunk post-Tarantino directors have toyed with non-linear narratives, Matthew Waynee's script doesn't make the device seem rote or overindulgent. Also a small, strong cast led by Caviezel, Kinnear, and Pepper ensure this solid thriller isn't just another entry in the tough-guy crime stakes.
Film Noir |
Theatrical Release |