If someone had told me a year ago that Liam Neeson was going to become an action movie star, I would have raised an eyebrow, to say the least. Not that I didn’t think he was capable of it, but you know, look at him. He just doesn’t seem to fit the part.
If someone had told me a year ago that Liam Neeson was going to become an action movie star, I would have raised an eyebrow, to say the least. Not that I didn’t think he was capable of it, but you know, look at him. He just doesn’t seem to fit the part. He seems maybe to be more cerebral than ass-kicking.
But here we are, a year after releasing Taken, and we bought him as that just fine because, Hell, it was a cool movie. Now we have Unknown, a film in much the same genre, and once again, it’s a pretty cool movie.
Liam Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, a bio-chemist something or other due to give a presentation at a Bio-Tech conference in Berlin. He and his wife get to their hotel and he realizes that he left his briefcase at the airport. On the cab ride there the cab gets into an accident and it goes off a bridge. Due to his injuries, he’s in a coma for 4 days and when he searches for his wife, she doesn’t know him. What’s worse, there is a man impersonating him. Since he has no identification, he can’t prove who he is, either. This, of course, is a sticky wicket, and he now looks like a loon to everyone he tries to convince that he is the REAL Martin Harris. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it would seem that there are people trying to kill him.
I always try to find plot holes in films like this. I figure someone must have missed something somewhere in the maze of who did what and who’s on who’s side. But frankly, I couldn’t really find anything wrong here. And Liam Neeson lends an air of seriousness and plausibility to all of the happenings. Not to say the script needs any of that, because it doesn’t, but Neeson is a plus here just the same.
Harris gets a knock on the head during the accident and hence has spotty memory of events since arriving in Berlin. Pieces come back to along the way, but it all seems logical and it never seems “convenient”. The pace never slows too long to make me look at my watch and the acting here is great all the way through. Bruno Ganz stars as a man that can find people, and he is definitely a highlight in this.
As Harris finds there is no one he can really trust to get help to discover what is going on he finds himself seeking out the woman taxi driver that was in the crash. She has her own problems but gets stuck in the middle of Harris’s dilemma so she sticks around to help.
This is the kind of movie you can’t really delve too deeply in with the review without giving away much, so you won’t get much out of me on this one. I will say that ultimately what is going on isn’t completely original, but it is handled deftly and they keep the puzzle unfinished until late in the game. There is a lot of great action, and a fun car chase, and plenty of guessing as to what comes next. It is in fact, a rather serviceable thriller.
I can safely say Unknown is a movie worth seeing. How about that? This is totally worth three and a half kittenhands out of five. Worth your time in the theater, even.
– Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, hoping Liam Neeson does one of these every year to cure us of the slow movie season doldrums.