Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unknown


Is Liam Neeson really an action star? It appears so. After 2008's hit Taken, maybe it was only a matter of time before he'd surface again in a film like Unknown, which also has a one-word title, plenty of twists and turns, and plenty of opportunities for him to punch bad guys in the face.

This time around he's Martin Harris, a botanist who goes to Berlin to give a presentation at an unusually high-profile biotechnology conference. By his side is his wife, Elizabeth (January Jones)--at least until they are separated at their hotel's check-in desk. Realizing he left his briefcase at the airport, Martin grabs a taxi and leaves Elizabeth to check-in. And everything in Martin's life falls apart quickly from there. Four days later he awakes from a coma and begins attempting to piece his life back together. The problem is, nobody else believes that he is who he says he is, and he can't prove that he's himself, either. A relentless and very entertaining series of tense situations, spectacular car chases, and violent encounters follows. Thankfully, Gina (Diane Kruger) tags along with Martin for most of the proceedings. The best scene in the film features none of the leads, but rather Frank Langella and Bruno Ganz. They do as much with their eyes and words in several minutes of screen time as the rest of the cast requires an entire film to accomplish.

Don't ask too many "how" questions while watching Unknown; the plot holes are too big to fill. Just enjoy the action and the fact that you really don't know how it's going to end after all.

Brooke: B
Grant: B-

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