Unknown stars Liam Neeson as an ordinary man thrown into a complex and violent conspiracy. It's a role he plays very well, but that scenario
is becoming a little overplayed in today's thriller films. Unknown is different than most films, but it still ends up in the same place as way too many thrillers seem to end up in.
Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris, a biologist headed to Berlin with his
wife (January Jones, American Wedding). At the beginning of the movie, they arrive in Berlin so that Martin can speak at a biology convention. Upon arriving at the hotel, Martin realizes he left his briefcase at the airport. On his way to the airport the car swerves off the bridge and crashes into the river. The taxi driver (Diane Kruger, National Treasure) heroically saves Martin and than she vanishes before the emergency services arrive.
Martin wakes in a hospital, being told he's been in a coma for several
days. When he arrives back at the hotel to see his wife, she is at the
gala evening with another man claiming to be Dr. Martin Harris. Also,
his wife has no recollection of ever meeting him before. This sets the
stage for the film. Martin seeks to hunt down whoever stole his
identity and what is happening to his life.
This is a storyline which works well. Martin gets help from a nurse in
the hospital, who directs him towards a former East German secret
policemen- turned private detective. Martin also finds the taxi driver
to question her on the nature of the incident. While at her apartment
men come looking for Martin, confirming his belief that he's not crazy.
Unfortunately, the story begins to collapse as the film comes to it's
close. Frank Langella is introduced to the story, the sole function of
his character being to explain the plot to the protagonist and to the
audience as if we are also unawawre of what has happened on screen.
Once he serves this purpose his character is swiftly removed from the
Unknown is a pretty good thriller, but the ending ruins a good setup
by involving things which should have been left out of the plot. The
acting is solid, no actors are surprisingly good or bad, through
Neeson doesn't seem as believable as in the film Taken, which is
overall a much better movie. Unknown is very enjoyable, but the more I
think about it the more problems with it I can find.