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Unknown (Liam Neeson) - DVD Review

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

SOME films are so silly they become guilty pleasures. For the most part, Unknown falls into that category… but then it gets really silly.

Jaume Collet-Serra’s thriller has echoes of Taken mixed with Bourne as Liam Neeson’s top biochemist lands in Berlin for a keynote address with his beautful wife (January Jones) only to forget his briefcase at the airport and become involved in a car crash en route to getting it back.

Surviving the ensuing wreck without ID or memory, Neeson is then further dismayed to find his wife no longer recognises him and a different man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity.

So, with the immigrant taxi driver (Diane Kruger) who saved his life, he sets about reclaiming his life and uncovering a sinister conspiracy.

Collet-Sera’s film sets out to be a taut mix of Roman Polanski’s Frantic with elements of Taken and Bourne thrown in. But it lacks the intellgence or edge of any of those and takes itself a little too seriously in places.

Admittedly, there is some fun to be had in seeing where the story goes but once you piece it together – long before Neeson – it becomes a tiresome and unrewarding journey whose failings become all the more apparent.

These include several lazy contrivances, beginning with the opening loss of the briefcase and some ineptitude involving a late bomb, as well as the waste of the movie’s one really notable character: namely, Bruno Ganz’s former Stasi private detective. He deserves a much better film.

Neeson looks lost well but has done similar work much better, Kruger is forgettable and Jones is just plain awful in yet another of the film’s thankless roles.

The overall result is a film that fails to measure up to the sum of it’s parts, where even the silliness becomes annoying.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 113mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: July 18, 2011