Unknown Origins parents guide

Unknown Origins Parent Guide

The premise is interesting. The movie isn't.

Overall C-

Netflix: A deranged serial killer stalks the streets of Madrid, leaving their victims posed in imitations of the first appearances of famous superheroes.

Release date August 28, 2020

Violence D
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is Unknown Origins rated TV-MA? The MPAA rated Unknown Origins TV-MA

Run Time: 100 minutes

Parent Movie Review

David (Javier Rey) is a police inspector in Madrid, and he’s on the trail of a serial killer. The deranged murderer has been killing victims and posing their bodies in reference to the origin stories of famous superheroes. Unfortunately, David knows nothing about superheroes, let alone their obscure original publications: to that end, he’s been paired up with Jorge (Brays Efe), a comic book store owner who has a near encyclopedic knowledge of all things geek. Although the two don’t necessarily see eye to eye, they both recognize that their priority has to be the killer haunting the city…but whether they can catch him is another story.

This movie has a terminal tone problem. It’s trying to be gritty and realistic and dark, which makes sense for a movie about a psychotic murderer…and then it crams in the brightly colored “Big Bang Theory” style comic bookstore and the associated spandex-clad heroes. Some flavors just don’t mix, and these two go together about as well as raw onion and strawberry ice cream. Maybe the flavor profile is different in Spain, but I’m not sure it travels well, if that’s the case.

The other critical flaw is the protagonist, who is slightly more exciting than dryer lint, but only slightly. He doesn’t even qualify as an audience stand-in, since he mostly just wanders around making bad decisions and acting like he’s the rational one. Norma (Veronica Echegui), the young Chief of Homicide, is a little more interesting but just as poorly written. Jorge Elias (Brays Efe), the Consulting Nerd manages to be slightly endearing, but I have a sneaking suspicion that has more to do with the actor-s big puppy-dog eyes and less to do with a sudden spurt of talent in the screenwriting department.

Unknown Origins is also completely unsuitable for children or the easily nauseated, due to both the graphic and gruesome violence and to the non-stop stream of profanity. Now, I watched this in the original Spanish with English captions, because watching dubbed movies gives me a headache, so the profanity count might vary slightly if you watch it in English, but I doubt it varies by dozens of extreme profanities. Even if it miraculously cleans up when you watch it en inglés, it’s not worth watching. There is a glut of superhero movies, and a comparable number of cop thrillers. You would be better off watching almost any of them on their own – or, for a similar experience, one of each simultaneously.

Directed by David Galán Galindo. Starring Leonardo Sbaraglia, Verónica Echegui, and Javier Rey. Running time: 100 minutes. Theatrical release August 28, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Unknown Origins

Unknown Origins
Rating & Content Info

Why is Unknown Origins rated TV-MA? Unknown Origins is rated TV-MA by the MPAA

Violence: There are graphic depictions of murders, including badly decaying bodies, burned corpses, and individuals with severe acid injuries. An individual deliberately destroys their own face with a bucket of acid. A person is killed in a house fire. A dead body is shown with the neck crushed in and both wrists snapped nearly off. There is brief depiction of an autopsy. Several people are shot and killed. Several people are shown suffering from extreme polonium poisoning.
Sexual Content: There is brief discussion of the rape and dismemberment of a six-year-old girl. Several comic book covers featuring female toplessness are seen.
Profanity: There are 44 uses of extreme profanity, 27 uses of scatological cursing, and occasional use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are occasionally shown drinking wine with meals. There are a few references to illicit drug use, but no drugs are seen.

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This movie draws heavily from David Fincher’s Se7en, which tracks the police investigation of a serial murderer who stages his victims in the theme of the seven deadly sins. Another obvious influence is Unbreakable, starring Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis. The sequel, Glass, is atrocious and should be avoided at all costs. Kick-Assis another source for the film. Superhero films referenced directly in this film include Batman (the 1989 version starring Michael Keaton), The Dark Knight, X-Men, Watchmen, and Iron Man. Other superhero origin stories are mentioned, but those films specifically turn up in the story.