Unknown (2011) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Liam Neeson’s skill at portraying an everyman pushed to the brink is evident in this absorbing thriller set in Germany. Neesen (Taken, A-Team) stars as Dr. Harris the keynote speaker at a biotechnology convention who suffers through a car accident. Upon awakening from a slight bout of uncounisounces Neesen’s entire identiy is in question, even his wife doesn’t seem to recoognize him any longer. His desperate efforts to uncover the truth of the matter lead to a web of intrigue that unfolds at a deliberate pace. As the man caught up in the frantic pursuit to prove himself right, Neeson handles the role with a great deal of authority. However it does cause one to question just where did he learn those fantastic fighting skills.

Aided in his quest by a plucky female refugee played by Diane Kruger who saves Neeson’s life after the near fatal accident early in the picture. The obstacles and inconstancies began to mount for the ever struggling Doctor and his sidekick. January Jones most notable for her Television appearances is very good here. Her delivery when speaking to the man claiming to be her husband is both chilling and teasing while Adian Quinn (making a welcomed return to the screen) is the man proclaiming to be the ‘real’ Dr. Harris.

Despite a crisp screenplay from screenwriters Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell adapted from the 2003 French novel titled in English as Out of My Head. The direction from Jaume Collet-Serrais somewhat lackluster a few scenes run on far too long and serve no purpose but to bog the film down. Your enjoyment of this picture will have a lot to do with your taste for Neeson in the lead. The film is reminescent of the 1988 Roman Polanski thriller Frantic. I liked that picture too but I enjoyed Unknown more.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn

One thought on “Unknown (2011) – Review

  • September 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I thought Unknown was a good thriller. As the picture unfolded, I began question the believability of the story until a revelation in the last third of the film tied everything together. There were a few “coincidences” that stretched one’s ability to suspend disbelief, but overall I enjoyed the picture.

    Neeson has done his share of action/thriller films lately. He does them fairly well. Will the Professionals be next?


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