Liam Neeson is Unknown
Mar 6, 2011
Review by Marie Dragonfire
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Entertaining action movie with good cast.
Cons:Few small plot issues. Characters not developed much.
The Bottom Line: Unknown is entertaining overall, though it does have some issues.
Liam Neeson was mostly thought of as a dramatic actor before the release of 2008's Taken. Since then, he has done a few more action movies. I recently saw his newest action movie, Unknown.
Recommend this product?
Dr. Martin Harris and his wife Elizabeth arrive in Berlin where Martin is going to be speaking at a biotechnology conference. When they arrive at the hotel, Martin realizes that his briefcase has been left behind at the airport and he leaves to go after it. The taxi he takes is involved in an accident and Martin ends up in a coma for several days. Once he wakes up, he is determined to get back to Elizabeth. When he sees her in the hotel, she claims not to know him and introduces another man as her husband. Martin sets out to prove who he is while avoiding attempts on his life. Martin tracks down Gina, the driver of the taxi, which puts her in danger as well.
Unknown is based on the book Out of My Head by Didier Van Cauwelaert. I haven't heard of the book before and I have no idea how close to it the movie stays. At first, the plot seems rather original, but as more happens, some similarities to other movies come out. At least I saw the similarities. I really don't want to mention to which movies there are similarities because that could end up spoiling certain things for people who haven't seen the movie yet. It would have been nicer if the plot had been a little more original.
Very little time is taken at the beginning of Unknown to set up things. Martin and Elizabeth are barely introduced before his accident. Attention is given at that point to some small details that ultimately don't matter much. When Martin wakes up in the hospital, he ends up leaving really quick despite the fact that he's been in a coma and has some memory issues. He heads straight for the hotel, intent only on reuniting with his wife. Martin does have a few doubts about what might be going on at one point, but it doesn't take him long to lose the doubts. The plot is fairly straightforward with it being focused on Martin trying to figure out why someone has taken his place. By the end of the movie, most things are explained sufficiently, though there are a few small plot holes left unexplained.
There are definitely thriller elements in Unknown and the movie has been promoted as a thriller. Those things do help to keep the movie interesting and entertaining, but the thriller elements could have been a bit stronger. I really only found a few scenes to be suspenseful and I ultimately wasn't that surprised by anything that happened. Several scenes have action in them, something else that helps to keep things interesting. The action scenes are done well overall, though some of them do stretch believability a bit. A car chase is exciting even though it does go a bit overboard. Violence is in a few scenes, though the movie really isn't that violent overall. The movie is rated PG-13, and it really isn't one for children.
Some of Martin's memories from before the accident are shared at different points during Unknown. He only gets small flashes of things, several of which are tied to Elizabeth. Some of the memories are of them having sex in a shower. There really isn't any nudity in those scenes even though some skin is shown because of the placement of steam and a fogged up shower door or wall. The little shower scene memory pops up a few different times, sometimes slightly longer than others. Those brief scenes provide the only sexual content for the movie. Very little about of Martin and Elizabeth's relationship is shared beyond the few brief memories.
Martin remains a mystery for much of Unknown. With the way the story is shared, the audience only barely knows more than he does when he wakes up from his coma, so the audience discovers certain things along with him. He isn't as developed because of all the mystery surrounding him. Liam Neeson does well with the part. Elizabeth isn't shown as much, so there is even less shared about her. January Jones is fine, though nothing special in the part. Aidan Quinn turns up as Martin B, the man that Elizabeth says is her husband when Martin turns up. I didn't recognize Quinn in the part.
Gina is the woman driving the taxi when Martin is injured in the accident. She has her own reasons for wanting to avoid involvement, but Martin convinces her. She seems nice enough, but she is also not developed much. Diane Kruger does well with the part. Ernst is a man that Martin finds who is willing to help him try to figure out what is going on. He is interesting, though not in enough of the movie. Bruno Ganz is fine in the part. Frank Langella turns up in a few short scenes as Rodney Cole, one of Martin's colleagues that he remembers.
Bruno Ganz - Ernst
January Jones - Elizabeth Harris
Diane Kruger - Gina
Liam Neeson - Martin Harris
Aidan Quinn - Martin B
Jaume Collet-Serra - Director
Unknown is an entertaining action thriller overall even though it does have a few plot issues and a lack of character development. Fans of Liam Neeson will probably find something to like about the movie.
Liam Neeson Movie Reviews
The A-Team ~ Batman Begins ~ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe ~ The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ~ Clash of the Titans ~ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace ~ Taken ~
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