Liam Neeson is in Germany for a conference, when he meets with an accident and slips into a coma. After awakening from the coma, he finds out that his identity has been stolen and that no one, including his wife, believes his claim. He sets out to find out who stole his identity and why. Read the review of Unknown for more.
Business Rating: 1 star
Star cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella.
What’s Good: Some of the fight scenes; the twist in the end.
What’s Bad: A few unnecessary twists; some of the close-range shots; and the underdeveloped characters.
Verdict: Sadly, Unknown will live up to its name and remain quite unknown for the Indian audience.
Watch or Not? If you’re into fast-paced thrillers, you can give it a go. But don’t expect much.
Dark Castle Entertainment’s Unknown is about a man’s search for his identity in a foreign land. Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) is in Germany for a biotechnology summit with his wife, Elizabeth Harris (January Jones). Realising that he has left a briefcase at the airport, Harris hurries back to the airport, leaving Elizabeth at the hotel. On the way, his cab meets with an accident and he slips into a coma. He wakes up four days later and hurries back to the hotel, knowing that his wife would be worried about him.
But when he arrives at the hotel, Elizabeth claims that she has never seen him and introduces someone else (Aidan Quinn) as her husband, Dr. Martin Harris. Confused, the real Martin tries to reach out to Professor Leo Bressler (Sebastian Koch), whom he was in contact with before he arrived in Germany. But even that fails. As a last resort, Martin contacts Gina (Diane Kruger), his cab driver on the day of the accident. He also enlists the support of Ernst Jürgen (Bruno Ganz), an ex-member of the East German secret police, to find out his true identity. But with assassins on Martin’s and Gina’s trail, the former has to find out who he is and quickly. Was the car crash an accident or manipulated? And why are some people bent on finishing off Martin and Gina? Did Elizabeth lie about not knowing Martin or did she actually believe what she had claimed?
Story and Screenplay – Unknown Review
Writers Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell have adapted Didier Van Cauwelaert’s novel, Out Of My Head, for ‘Unknown’. Oliver and Stephen have managed to pull off the thrills very well. Yet, because of the break-neck speed of the movie, the characters are given limited focus. So, while just nuggets of Martin’s character help to show the helplessness he feels in the film, you wish that the characters of Gina and Elizabeth were sketched out in more detail. The writers haven’t tried to build up on the mystery around Martin’s identity theft and the resulting confusion, choosing to insert action scenes instead.
Star Performances – Unknown Review
Liam Neeson is wonderful; and why wouldn’t he since the character is like it was written for a sequel of his 2008 film, Taken. He excels as the confused man trying to grope his way back into his life in an unknown city. Diane Kruger’s performance is good. January Jones and Bruno Ganz act ably in their small roles.
Direction, Cinematography and Editing – Unknown Review
Director Jaume Collet-Serra does a good job of keeping a constant pace throughout the film. However, while he could have made an impact with the climax and the subsequent twist, he fails to do so. John Ottman and Alexander Rudd’s music is average. Flavio Martínez Labiano’s cinematography is good. Timothy Alverson’s editing is crisp.
The Last Word
On the whole, Unknown is a good film but only upto a point. It won’t find many takers, also because it has barely been publicised.