Liam Neeson has been throwing himself out into the major motion picture world a lot lately. The reason we can assume is because of the recent passing of his wife. Neeson has starred in Taken, The A-Team, Narnia, Chloe, and now this film. Unknown seems to be a follow up of sorts to Taken but alas it isn’t since well Neeson isn’t the same character and isn’t kicking as much ass as he did in that film. This film is more like the John Doe guy tries to find out who he is type film. Does Neeson seemingly throw his stellar acting career out the window just to remain busy or does he actually do justice to the action thriler genre?
Dr. Martin Harris (Neeson) and his wife Liz (January Jones) are in Berlin for a conference. Harris gets into a car accident but is saved by Gina, his taxi driver (Diane Kruger). Harris loses all of his paperwork identifiying who he is and goes on a rampant search to recover te missing identity. Turns out someone else has taken on the identiy of Martin Harris. Neeson goes all out trying to find out what happened and when we get to the end we get to a not so shocking twist that leaves a salty taste in your mouth.
The writing stalls out for most of the film. It’s your basic action thriller film in which Neeson runs around screaming I want my life back with the occasional fist a cuffs thrown about. The plot isn’t as complex as some people have made it out to be, and it seems that there have been movies like this made in the past year or so. The plot twist near the last half hour to forty five minutes is rather dull and uninspired that it seems like a cop out of sorts. And near the end Neeson tries to undo all that he did throughout the film or so it seems.
The film does boast some big name talent in the acting department, Neeson, Jones and Kruger. The sad thing is Jones is not used for much of the film, sadly only a handful of minutes here. Kruger’s German accent is sub par and unacceptable. As much as I love Liam Neeson he doesn’t have much to work with and he makes it work to an extent. See Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace and well as some other films of late.
Everything about the film is predictable and the cameras are a bit sloppy in the action scenes. The film has some pacing problems as it tries to be a thriller than an action film and then a thriller again. It’s an entertaining film for the most part but it just leaves you wondering what could have been as compared to what it is. Sadly the film wasn’t as engrossing as I had hoped and unfortunately I have to give it a negative score due to it’s lack of well a lot of positives other than Neeson. Scoring a meager 5/10