Despite the presence of those familar straight-to-video character thespians Joe Mantegna and JT Walsh, Persons Unknown is a lacklustre thriller, constituting a long step backwards for director George Hickenlooper after his truly excellent Hearts Of Darkness documentary (the "troubled" making of Coppola's Apocalypse Now). Mantegna is the alcoholic ex-cop, now running a security business, who has a one-night stand with mysterious blonde Amanda (Kelly Lynch).
It's all part of a subtle plan to get the security codes for the office of one of his clients. But the resulting heist (which also involves the lovely Amanda's wheelchair-bound sister) is botched, and soon the threesome are being pursued by the police, the DEA and some vicious, ever-angry drug dealers. Without the panache or slick style of, say, the Coen Brothers, Persons Unknown has a predictable reliance on violence, a bogus ending and an alarming amount of bone-headedly offensive South American stereotyping. And yes, Mr Mantegna does fall in love with Lynch's pretty, criminal blonde.
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