Unknown (2011)

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Hollywood
Tags: , , , , , , ,



A man awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and that no one, (not even his wife), believes him. With the help of a young woman, he sets out to prove who he is. –IMDb


Jaume Collet-Serra


Oliver Butcher (screenplay), Stephen Cornwell(screenplay), and Didier Van Cauwelaert (novel “Out of My Head”)


Liam NeesonDiane Kruger and January Jones


 Drama | Mystery | Thriller


 Take back your life.

Unknown was a really solid action thriller. It seems like Liam Neeson has done a lot of these types of movies lately, but I enjoyed this much more than Taken (which though I loved it, was a bit clichéd). Unknown is much more than the story of a man who lost his memory and seems to have been replaced by someone taking his identity. In fact, the sheer amount of plot twists and complexities keep building up, but you never feel too lost (the exposition bordered on making things way too obvious, but always hid something from you). The action scenes are clear and well done, and there’s tons of suspense and gasp-inducing moments that keep the film’s momentum going.

The story told in “Unknown” is one that is not easily figured out, because it keeps taking twists and turns along the way. And it works so well, because you are constantly kept in the dark, and fed small glimpses and pieces of the bigger picture. Yet when everything becomes revealed, you will be in awe, because it was just not what would have been the most obvious outcome.

Part of what made this movie different from your usual thriller was the excellent cinematography. Unknown takes place in Berlin, and the gloomy, snow-filled streets and mix of modern and traditional architecture is a really cool environment. There’s a bit of CGI that looked somewhat cheap, but for the most part, the visual effects nicely complemented the story.

The film is fast paced with plenty of action and it will have you scratching you head, but it does slow down from time to time to give the viewer a chance to pause for thought. That said, it’s not difficult to follow what is going on ( why it is going on is another matter), so you won’t have to watch it again to understand it.

Still of Liam Neeson in Unknown

The acting was better-than-average for a thriller on most parts. Neeson did his usual bad-ass job, and really pulled off having lost his memory. He, like with other films he’s starred in, carried it on his shoulders till the end.Diane Kruger played a cab driver pulled into the mystery, and she did a great job portraying a sympathetic character and was a strong female lead (also, incredibly beautiful). Bruno Ganz is fantastic as a former secret police officer trying to make sense of what has happened to Liam Neeson’s character, Martin Harris. Frank Langella brings his customary restrained dark menace to the screen. The only one actor to disappoint is January Jones who played his wife. Her expressionless and robotic face is a big let-down. Either she had a very straight bored look on her face while she delivered her dialogues or she had a broad smile in other scenes, just trying hard to look pretty on-screen and this was it(though I must say, she looks really gorgeous and sexy)

*SPOILERS ALERT* Though the movie is very entertaining, its sometimes patently absurd. I’ll give one example at the start–he forgets his briefcase at the airport and realizes this at the hotel and instead of just popping his head in the door to tell his wife he’s going back to get it, he just hails a cab and is gone. Then, in the cab, there is no cell service. In downtown Berlin. Okay, it’s a conspiracy, and they’ve tampered with his phone and his wife is really a double-agent plant and so it’s all logical. Except not quite. You’ll see.*SPOILERS END*

A lot of people have criticised the movie being similar to Taken, but the only comparison that this film has with ‘Taken’ is the star and the way the makers of the film have wanted the poster to be designed. After this, there is nothing else, but two good movies.

“Unknown” is a quality thriller that hooks you in with intrigue and suspense and then keeps you waiting right till the end before it delivers its knockout twist. And I’ll wager that you won’t guess what that twist is. I rate it 8 out of 10.

Watch the trailer…


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