Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Unknown

Liam Neeson is back in Europe, wreaking havoc and unleashing hell. Naturally this is bad news for the bad guys, but is it necessarily good news for us?

I would like to say it is. I would also like to say that this film is much like its rugged, older brother Taken in that it's almost all action all the time. Alas, Unknown is the brainier, more passive twin with a much more profound premise. That's right all you adrenaline junkies, you're actually going to have to think this one through.

Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, an American botanist who travels to Berlin with his wife, played by January Jones, to give a presentation at a biotech confrence. Martin's world is flipped upside down when a car crash robs him of most of his memory. After awaking from a four-day coma, Martin finds that nobody, including his own wife, remembers him and that some other guy has taken his place.Without any identification, Martin scours the streets of Berlin looking for answers.

Liam Neeson is an expert in this type of role. In fact, his performance is the most magnetic thing about this movie and for such a formulaic, internationall thriller such as Unknown, the filmmakers did a nice job with filling the archetypal stereotypical supporting roles with people like Diane Kruger, Bruno Ganz, and the always creepy Frank Langella. All these performances add a lot to the overall enticement of the film.

Another thing that adds to the enticement of this film is, of course, the plot itself, which a lot of critics have been saying twists too much. I don't agree. The filmmakers were careful not to give anything away too soon which keeps you involved throughout. Yes, the revelation is sort of anticlimactic but it isn't anything too overwhelming or that will make you hate this movie. Besides, it's not the destination, it's the trip.

As far as movies for 2011 go, Unknown is the first to not completely suck. With a terrific cast, lead by action hero Liam Neeson, and an intriguing premise that will keep you guessing, you can finally spend some money on a movie without total bordem setting in.

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