Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

UNKNOWN (2011)

Nothing becomes this twisty thriller as much as its end. No villain reanimates for a final flourish; no triple-reverse plot revelation makes mincemeat of things; no shadowy figure edges into view to signal a possible sequel. Narrative dignity, at last! If only the preceding two hours were equally accomplished. The story, a funhouse of political & corporate skullduggery, gives good weight, as does solid Liam Neeson, who must be surprised to find himself, in his late-50s, taking the action-figure baton from Steve McQueen & Charles Bronson. But megger Jaume Collet-Serra shows little affinity or gamesmanship for the form. He does well enough when he sticks us in the driver’s seat, but the rest of the action set pieces don’t ‘read’ properly. Even a simple fight scene is beyond him, and the mix-master editing more of a cover-up than anything in the plot. Still, there’s reasonable fun watching a gaggle of genres getting mashed-up as we hop from amoral spy rings to identity theft & amnesia; there’s even an old East German STASI spy to sympathize with. That’s new!* And nicely played by Bruno Ganz. Which is more than can be said for the cold-blooded perf from January Jones or the decision to hold back on the Big Reveal until halfway thru the third act.

DOUBLE-BILL: The screenwriters may have had Harrison Ford’s THE FUGITIVE/’93 meets THE BOURNE IDENTITY/’02 in mind as a suspense-thriller template. But MIRAGE/’65, a lesser-known Gregory Peck pic from a Howard Fast novel (helmed by Edward Dmytryk/scripted by Peter Stone), has lots of similar elements in it.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: *Actually, it’s not new, it’s the lead character in the superb THE LIVES OF OTHERS/’06. But that’s not a piece of Pop entertainment.

No comments: