If you could somehow remove all of the powerful, heart-wrenching moments from Memento, The Usual Suspects, Saw and Reservoir Dogs, and replace them with a slew of flashbacks, a lazy script and an assortment of unnecessary twist endings, you'd wind up with Unknown -- a psychological thriller that loses its edge soon after exposing a flashy and intriguing premise.
On the surface, it's a fantastic set-up: Five guys wake up in a warehouse, bloody and beaten with no idea who they are or how they got there; the only thing that's certain is whoever placed them in this situation does not want them to leave anytime soon. Two of the men are tied up, one of which is suffering from a gun shot wound. While the first of the men, Jean Jacket (James Caviezel), regains consciousness, a phone is ringing somewhere off-screen. As he stumbles into a side office to pick up the receiver, for a brief second we expect the person on the other end to ask, "So James, which scary movie do you feel like ripping off?" Instead, it's a strange voice -- a voice that seems to know who its speaking to, even though Jean Jacket is clueless ... except for that loaded handgun sitting in front of him.