Review: Unknown (2011)

With the success of Taken, Liam Neeson returns in this mystery thriller, with somewhat mixed feelings.

While the cover shows a moody Neeson with a gun, Unknown is quite a different animal from Taken. Our hero is a man travelling to Berlin with his wife to give a science lecture at a prestigious event, only for an accident to rob him of his memory. What he does remember appears to be robbed from him also when he finds another man with his identity, and his wife doesn’t recognise him either. Without anyone to trust, he must piece together fragments of memories while evading men intent on killing him.
Unknown is a film more about paranoia than gun battles; Neeson’s character is always on the run and surrounded by potential enemies. The film does boast a car chase and a later fight scenes, but neither outshine Taken (in fact the car chase was pretty lacklustre).
The film’s strength is also its weakness; the mystery and total lack of history with Neeson’s character makes for intense developments down the road, keeping you watching… but when those big twists are revealed, they aren’t greatly surprising after all of the ambiguity preceding them.

Overall Unknown is a solid mystery thriller, fans of Neeson and perhaps the television show 24 should be interested in this.


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