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FILM REVIEW: Unknown

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Unknown is the latest offering from the Liam Neeson school of the action thriller. This time round Liam plays Martin Harris, a man who wakes up in hospital after a car accident, only to find his identity and his wife (January Jones) have been stolen by another man (Aiden Quinn). Think Taken, but this time we’re stealing identity, not daughters.

As we have come to expect from Neeson, the film is not short of explosive, yet entirely improbable, action packed scenes which will either leave you gasping for breath, or if you’re anything like me, feeling a little nauseated. Picture endless car chases, assassins in hot pursuit – that sort of business.

Unfortunately, you may also be left gasping at the appalling and at times laughable script, or the limited acting abilities of much of the cast. While Liam Neeson plays the confused, but ‘don’t mess’ protagonist as human and relatable, January Jones (Mad Men) struggles to depict Elizabeth Harris with arguably, any evident depth or conviction.  Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds), however, works well with the script she is given and is definitely the stand out supporting role, playing Liam’s unlikely accomplice Gina. Although, Bruno Ganz (Downfall) does give her a run for her money in his portrayal of ex-army German spy, Ernst Jung.  

On the plus side, the film features some stunning scenes on location in Berlin and the premise is genuinely intriguing. There are also some decently riveting scenes which are clearly director, Jaume Collet-Serra’s speciality considering his horror background (Orphan, House of Wax). The film’s twist is undoubtedly very clever, but comes too late and ends up having less impact on the story than would have been hoped, however still, the execution is sloppy and stilted and the writers’ lack of experience is evident.

Neeson fans will most probably herald Unknown as another electrifying piece of action cinema but sadly, much like Martin’s memory, Unknown has potential, but is ultimately forgettable.

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