Movie Review: Unknown
Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago
Liam Neeson’s the type of actor which no one can really say they dislike. Well, there might be a person or two out there, but truth be told, this easy going Irishman has a swag unlike any other seasoned Hollywood actor, and no matter what name you may be thinking… like NYC, there are plenty of other cities with a magical appeal, but when it comes to comparing it—never! Neeson’s just too strong, vibrant and holds a unique “You can’t fuck with me” aura which remains untouched.
Other than MAAAAYBEEEE Daniel Craig, I don’t think there could be anyone else that would have had los cojones bien puestos to make such a somber thriller like ‘UNKNOWN’ halfway interesting. With projects like ‘TAKEN’ (2009) and the miscarriage induced ‘THE A-TEAM’ (2010), Neeson’s latest doesn’t hold much of the upfront one-scene-to-the-next intense action-based appeal, however, does have an approach which leaves you as an audience member asking MANY “what the fuck?!” questions and wondering what the hell actually happened during his mishap which led to a tangled web of convoluted story-telling!
Dr. Martin Harris (Neeson) flies out to Berlin for a conference he’s so adamant to attend. As luck would have it, in a moment which made time one of his most vital priorities, a split decision when pretty much telling a cab-driver what to do, one mishap leads to the next, leading to his cab going off a bridge. Four quick days later, he awakens to discover that his Ice Queen wife (Jones) suddenly doesn't recognize him and another man has assumed his sexual duties and identity. Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run. Aided by an unlikely ally (Kruger), Martin plunges head-first into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he's willing to go to uncover the truth.
Much to the film’s credit, the writing was pretty interesting. It never loses its touch when linking one scene to the next, as well as the leads and supporting roles. The film has an interesting twist during the last act, which was quite pleasant (predictable to a degree) and once again, Neeson keeps the momentum when piecing answers. However, my issue with it stems from the way some of it was edited and some minor continuity issues. Sure it wasn’t shit, but comparing it to other Neeson thrillers, ‘UNKNOWN’ had major shoes to fill following a major film like ‘TAKEN’ (2009)—presenting the ultimate in combining mental, emotional and physical distress when going to the extreme in order to obtain his daughter. The same applied here, only the cause is his life/and or past, but elements of this story-line left me cringing a bit.
To mention a couple of my issues… in a world where car accidents are common, following an ordeal which led to much head-banging and a pretty rugged pull which I’m sure would have left severe gashes, waking up after a four day coma, one would have more than a simple band-aid, a bit more scruffy considering no shaving and I also think one’s abilities would be fucked up (I.e. Walking, Communicating etc). The same applies to easily snaking his way into medical labs without any I.D., and knowing there’s a possible whack-job American roaming the streets of Berlin, Germany.
Maybe it’s just me, but that’s how I feel. I’m sorry that I love living in reality!
On the flipside: There’s interest which one can acquire from this story and as we venture out into a winter-laced Berlin, the chases are portrayed on all ends, and whether the streets, an art gallery or subway station… they all help in masking what ever bones I had to pick. Adding to this film is the short—yet soothingly intense—role played by Frank Langella. Here’s a man that can also carry his characters well. I didn’t think much of him in ‘THE BOX’ (2009), but really enjoy his spurts. Quite enjoyable in ‘WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS’ (2010), and having graced us with his talents in ‘UNKNOWN’ was quite interesting and enjoyable. In closing, if you’re a Neeson enthusiast, I can totally see you enjoying this film, other than that, this can be left alone considering overpriced movie-tickets and wait for it to be On-Demand or NetFlix.