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Unknown: Another Neeson Action/Thriller

  • Diane KrugerJanuary Jones...
  • Action & AdventureDrama...
  • Jaume Collet-Serra
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Unknown: Another Neeson Action/Thriller

Dr. Martin Harris
(Neeson) is a scientist who travels to Berlin with his wife to attend a Biotech
seminar. He ends up in a coma after his taxi drives off a bridge into a river, and
he wakes up four days later to find that his own wife (Jones) doesn’t know who
he is and she’s with a man (Quinn) who has taken his names and claims to be her
husband. Desperate for answers, he is suddenly pursued by assassins. He manages
to track down his taxi driver (Kruger) to find out what exactly happened in
their car crash and why people are trying to kill him.

Unknown is basically a thriller introduced as an action film for further enhancements.
Despite missing minor details, the plot works well and manages to maintain some
of the usual twists. Unknown is a
puzzle that must be put in order by Neeson before the killers find him. The
film moves along the same style of Neeson’s recent hit Taken, which was also a great thriller with the backup of
impressive fight sequences and chase scenes.

The negative points
that could be mentioned here aren’t about the story (even though it takes
itself a little bit too seriously), but about the performances. Liam Neeson for
one is a tremendous actor who works in this genre as well. He is living proof
that action heroes shouldn’t necessarily be buffed up with muscles or the
slickest looks. Sadly though, his acting abilities are not shown off in this
film. Instead of a being sharp character, we get a confused man (for most of
the film and not just the beginning) who loses his calm every now and then,
while he was probably cast to provide the opposite.

Diane Kruger, as the supporting
actress, plays a Bosnian taxi driver with an accent that appears to be made up,
which loses her credibility with the audience. Additionally, Jones’s take on
the wife suffering from memory loss is sometimes over the top, meaning that the
intensity is lacking in her scenes with Neeson – scenes that were considered
the most essential ones for the story’s development.

When it comes to the
action scenes, Unknown passes the test that audiences tend to hold against any action film. Who
cares if the plot shows Neeson as a nerdy scientist who can fight off
professional assassins? As long as there’s good and respected action sequences,
audiences seem to let go of these minor issues.

All in all, if you’re
looking for another Taken; look
elsewhere. Unknown is not better or
worse; it’s just different. While the entertainment value is identified as a
rental, it’s advised to be seen on the big screen to enjoy the action
scenes even more.

Like This? Try

The Bourne Identity, Taken, The Fugitive       

360 Tip

This is director Jaume Collet-Serra’s first action film.

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