Unknown

(2011)

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Review: Unknown

Transcript for Review: Unknown

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
That’s a scene from UNKNOWN, staring Liam Neeson as a man who wakes up from a coma with only vague memories of who he is, which may not be so reliable.  Neeson’s character, Martin Harris, has just arrived in Berlin with his beautiful wife, played by January Jones.  She’s the sort of icy blonde you’d see in a Hitchcock film, so you know there’s more to her than meets the eye.  Martin is there for a scientific conference, but once he and his wife arrive at their hotel, he realizes that he’s left his briefcase, with their passports at the airport.  Things go horribly wrong when he dashes back to retrieve it.

CLIP from UNKNOWN

CHRISTY:
That’s Diane Kruger as the cab driver, and she’ll become crucial to the plot later on.  After the accident, Martin’s in a coma for four days.  When he awakens, he hurries to the hotel to reunite with his wife.  Like everything else in UNKNOWN, this doesn’t go quite as he’d hoped.

CLIP from UNKNOWN

CHRISTY:
From here, Martin seeks out Kruger’s character, Gina, to help him piece together what happened.  Not only is he not who he thought he was, he’s someone much more dangerous, and that means he has all kinds of skills he can’t explain.

CLIP from UNKNOWN

CHRISTY:
UNKNOWN is similar to a movie Neeson made back in 2008 called TAKEN, in which he plays a mild-mannered guy who finds he can kick all kinds of butt when the time comes.  A classy supporting cast including Frank Langella and Bruno Ganz also helps.  And this was made by a Spanish director named Jaume Collet-Serra, who also did ORPHAN, which had all kinds of crazy twists in it.  This doesn’t have quite those crazy twists, but some surprises.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Some surprises.  I like this a lot more than ORPHAN.  I think it’s a very well-crafted action thriller.  Now you mention the twists, and I think, kind of, an indication of the level of craft here – um, I rather like the twists in this film.  Obviously, I’m not going to ruin the plot for anyone, but a person coming in to watch this movie knows – expects there will be some kind of twist, and I think it’s handled in a way that is, at once, kind of entertaining and surprising, but also doesn’t betray, you know, what the audience has already seen on screen up to this point.

CHRISTY:
And we’re learning – right – we’re learning, along with Neeson, who he is, and the more he finds he has these skills, this knowledge, he has no idea where it comes from, we’re learning all about that, too, so it’s sort of a mystery for us both.

IGNATIY:
Yeah.  I kind of do hope that Liam Neeson, in a European city, you know, solving a mystery and fighting people becomes, kind of, an annual genre.

CHRISTY:
Don’t you?  With a one-word title?

IGNATIY:
With a one-word title.

CHRISTY:
I want that!