Unknown (2011)

Liam Neeson is Dr. Martin Harris. Or at least he thinks he is. He’s married to Liz Harris, until she’s married to someone else. You see, Unknown‘s hook is that Liam Neeson may or may not be who he thinks it is, and it’s primary failing is that we are supposed to care. After crashing into a river with Diane Kruger, the maybe Martin Harris sets about uncovering the conspiracy and proving that he’s not to old to run unsupervised.

WARNING: This Review Contains Spoilers For Unknown, Salt and Shutter Island.

It has taken me a long time to review Unknown, and in all honesty it is because I have such little to say. Unknown is set in some far-fetched reality in which Liam Neeson is an action hero and Diane Kruger drives taxis for a living. Since Matt Damon ran away to see dead people and chat to Emily Blunt in a hotel bathroom, there has been a vacancy in the amnesia ward Hollywood has been desperate to fill. First there was Shutter Island, a in which memorial confusion is used to induce the best twist that M. Night Shyamalan didn’t write. Then there was Salt, a film in which Angelina Jolie conveniently forgot she was a Russian spy and put her stunt double to work atop a flailing lorry. Enter Unknown, in which our favourite mystic lion pushes our collective suspension of disbelief past breaking point to the local retirement home.

Although it’s entirely functional – Liam Neeson can still run with certain aplomb – Unknown never dares to exceed expectations, a smorgasbord of genre conventions that only serves to remind of Matt Damon’s forgetful prowess. A decidedly dull screen presence, Neeson is impossible to root for, a stoic ex-Jedi Knight for better or worse. Kruger, so brilliant in Inglorious Basterds, contents herself with a dolefully stereotyped German accent and a two dimensional character. By the time we arrive at film’s end, and the revelations flow in, it’s difficult to not feel cheated by the twist’s annoying predictability.

A mediocre follow up to Taken, a film I as yet have no desire to watch, Unknown is an exercise in derision that jumps through hoops with more assuredness than it navigates car chases. Suitable for Orange Wednesdays and DVD rental, Unknown is definitely not worth the full price of admission.

About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Unknown (2011)

  1. Pingback: March 2011 – You made me…a period mix? « popcornaddict

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