Entertainment, Reviews

Unknown, Suspense Thriller

A very good action mystery Unknown lives up to its compelling trailer. From the exciting opening the film springs to a suspenseful thriller with twists and turns to the final reveal. If you are big fan of Liam Neeson (Taken), and I am, then run to see Unknown.

Mrs. (Jones) and Dr. Harris (Quinn) are confronted by another Dr. Harris (Neeson)

 

Without giving most of the mystery away, here’s a thumbnail on the basic storyline provided by the filmmaker: Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) suddenly doesn’t recognize him and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run. Aided by an unlikely ally Gina (Diane Kruger), Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he’s willing to go to uncover the truth.

Gina (Kruger) and Dr. Harris (Neeson) talk over strategy

 

If you like movies like The Borne Identity or The International that have a lot of suspense and thrills, then Unknown should fill the bill. Although the plot gets a little far fetched, to enjoy the film you have to just go with it.  I enjoyed the film a lot trying to solve the mystery and was often stumped until more than three quarters of the way through.  Although there were clues along the way, when I finally realized the answers to the plot the revelation added to my enjoyment.  All I could do was sit back and say to myself ‘nice job’.

The acting by Neeson reminded me of his relentless trek in the action thriller Taken.  There he played an outraged father on a path to save his daughter who has been kidnapped by foreign slavers.  Here he’s on a different kind of rampage but with the same anger and determination.

In support, January Jones plays Dr. Harris’s enigmatic wife Elizabeth who languishes in her role as the vital link to his reality. With cold stares and dubious looks, Jones makes her character believable enough to carry the plot through.  Diane Kruger plays the feisty illegal immigrant cab driver that gets Dr. Harris into the accident then later helps him get back the reality lost from his head injury.  Her tough cookie persona for Gina keeps the story intriguing and often adds some comic relief.

Unknown is rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sexual content.  The very realistic accident scene involving the car going into a river gets very tense.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  A very good action mystery. (B)

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com