Sunday, February 20, 2011
It's slim pickings in the dark days of February, once you've exhausted all the Oscar nominated films. You would expect a Liam Neeson action film to bring a little light to that darkness. You could do worse than "Unknown".
Mr. Neeson is becoming quite good as the guy to turn to when you are trouble in a European city. Here, he is Martin Harris, in trouble himself, after a car accident leaves him with spotty memory loss and a wife who no longer knows him. January Jones, so icy good on "Mad Men" plays basically the same role in contemporary clothes as Mr. Neeson's wife. Diane Kruger plays a cab driver with "too good to be true" survival skills who helps Mr. Neeson get his life back.
Frank Langella shows up late as a friend with a secret and Adian Quinn rounds out the American cast as "the other" Martin Harris. Everyone seems to have a secret agenda and nothing is quite as it seems. The central plot twist is a good one but there is too much exposition and so many plot holes, the film should have been called "Unbelievable" instead of "Unknown". There are a few good action sequences, particularly a car chase through the snowy streets of Berlin, but they are far and few between.
A cross between "The Bourne Identity" and "Taken" with a dash of Hitchcock thrown in, there are enough twists and turns to keep you interested but it's all rather forgettable once the lights come on.