Unknown (2011)

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Oliver Butcher & Stephen Cornwell
Based on:“Out of My Head”: By Didier van Cauwelaert
Starring: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Frank Langella
Year: 2011
Country: Germany & USA
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Time: 113 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller
USA Release: 2/18/2011
On DVD (USA): 6/21/2011

Now I have to word this carefully, I don’t want to give too much away. Recently, Liam Neeson came on strong, showing us you’re never too old to be a super cool action star with his role in “Taken”, the story of an ex-special agent in search of his kidnapped daughter. Now many people might say that “Unknown” is very similar to “Taken” and I have to say they are some what right, but if you enjoyed “Taken” as much as I did that you are going to be extremely happy and entertained with this film too.
“Unknown”, original titled “Unknown White Male” is an action/thriller taking place in Berlin and is based off of the 2003 French novel printed in English called “Out of My Head” by Didier van Cauwelaert. The story revolves around Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) a botanist in town for a summit, with his wife Liz (January Jones). After his cab gets into an accident subsequently knocking him unconscious, he wakes up in a hospital after being in a coma for 4 days. Being worried about his wife, after no one is wondering where he is, he heads to the hotel only to find out his wife has no idea who he is and that another man is saying he is Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn) After getting kicked out of the hotel he soon starts his search to prove who he really is, along the way he tracks down his cab driver from the accident Gina (Diane Kruger) and that bring trouble right to her doorstep. Now the two are on the run, trying to hide from the people after them, while trying to find any information to prove who he is.

Liam Neeson & Diane Kruger in “Unknown”

I found this to be a really inventive story of mistaken identity although like any story there are some holes, but I didn’t find myself lost or uninterested in what was going on. Some have said that it resemble the 1988 Roman Polanski thriller “Frantic” and I can see how it is a bit similar, but I find that “Frantic” is just a tad bit similar, they just have a few things in common. But Roman Polanski is on a different level as a director with his style and persona. Jaume Collet-Serra is a great director, I enjoyed how he set up a lot of the action sequences, making what would just be an easy car chase seem to buzz with more excitement. It made me want them to start a form of car racing but with stunt driving. Even though we are following Liam Neeson and how his life is now a big mystery, the character that is most mysterious is January Jones’s Liz, she’s no ordinary wife. Many critics has pointed out the use of the iconic “Icy Blonde” that was used by the great Alfred Hitchcock, for his female character showing us that there’s more to them, I have to agree that the technique is blatantly used for Liz. Even though all the characters were great, I found that only Diane Kruger’s Gina was the only realistic character, she was just a girl in the wrong cab at the wrong time. While I did enjoy watching the bad guys at times, I never felt a connection with them, it’s not like we are changing bad guys left and right, it is the same ones, but they just seem as invisible as their identities are, almost faceless. Despite the fact that this movie is advertised as being an action/thriller, it was almost like your watching two different movies in one. The first half being about a guy trying to find his identity and the other half about the identity finding him.

But like I said earlier, this movie does at times have holes, but don’t let that stop you from checking out “Unknown” it’s got a killer setting, great action, well rounded cast and a interesting story. So check out this movie, especially if you liked “Taken”.

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About Amanda L. Barnhart

I'm a avid film lover. I love collecting Blu-rays/DVDs, as well as movie posters. Along with doing that I'm an amateur film critic (having starting my site/blog in 2010). I'm also a photographer. I try to keep my site up-to-date with the newest reviews. (To Find Out More Click The "About Me" Button) So definitely subscribe if your interested, and don't be afraid to leave your thoughts in the comment box but please keep it nice & clean, Thanks!

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