Monday, February 21, 2011

Unknown - Movie Review


Starring Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Bruno Ganz, Aidan Quinn, Frank Langella, Sebastian Koch and Karl Markovics.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

I love Liam Neeson kicking butt in Europe. We had Taken, now we have this. I'd like it to become a genre. Every third movie Liam makes should be him kicking butt in Europe.

This isn't as satisfying as Taken, but it is a nice little puzzle of a movie where Liam plays Dr. Martin Harris, attending a convention in Germany with his wife. He forgets his suitcase with their passports and hopes into a taxi to recover it. The taxi crashes, and he wakes up with partial amnesia. Nevertheless when he shows up back at the hotel, his wife (Mad Men's January Jones) acts like she doesn't know who he is, and there's another man (Aidan Quinn) there caliming to be Martin Harris.

So Martin has to go on the run, trying to figure out what's going on. Is his wife a double-agent, or is she being forced to play this out? The revelation toward the end at first disappointed me until I thought about it and realized it was the only way the first two acts made sense. But then there are decisions made in the third act that don't make sense, but it's house of cards that asks you to admire the patience of construction, not how easy it is to swipe and knock it down.

I also like the bonus of respectable German actors popping up, like Bruno Ganz (Downfall), Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others) and Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters).

It's not high art; it's pulp action. It has its share of car chases, most of which bored me, honestly. Two guys in pursuit of a snowy rooftop will do more than any standard car chase.

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