MOVIE REVIEW: Unknown
Liam Neeson, January Jones in a typical implausible thriller
People like to say the best part of movies are shown during the trailers. This is one of those films where the trailer made it look unappealing. It hasn’t gotten the best reviews, but it was one of the top films at the box office its opening weekend and a friend told me I’d love it.
The movie started with Liam Neeson forgetting a suitcase at the airport and going to retrieve it. An accident lands him in a coma at the hospital and when he leaves, it seems a big conspiracy is against him. Nobody claims to know him, not even his wife.I laughed when Neeson awoke from his coma and told the babbling doctor he doesn’t speak German. I thought, Oskar Schindler doesn’t speak German?
Aidan Quinn plays the guy “stealing” Neeson’s identity. He has those creep eyes, as does Frank Langella (although I might just think that because he played Nixon and is engaged to Barbara Walters).German character actor Bruno Ganz plays a very interesting former spy who Neeson enlists to help him figure out what’s going on.January Jones' (Mad Men) performance is awful in this. At first I thought she was just playing the part as a confused woman might. I gave her the benefit of the doubt for the longest time. Near the end of the movie I just chalked it up to poor casting.
This movie reminded me of so many films I’ve liked more; a few Hitchcock films and The Fugitive to name a few. It also seemed to borrow a lot from Frantic – the Roman Polanski movie that I consider one of the most overrated films ever.And I’m not sure why with all Neeson’s recent roles –The A TeamandClash of the Titans– he’s decided to become Jason Bourne in his late 50s. Or Harrison Ford from a decade ago (I enjoy watching Neeson over Ford every day of the week and twice on Sunday).
You realize going in that this is going to be the basic formula for a thriller. You’ll hear cars skidding in parking garages, stolen identities, car chases, lots of passports, black SUVs containing bad guys, foot chases that end up in smoky loud night clubs, amnesia, etc.So many plot devices in films have used characters getting amnesia, yet I’ve never known or heard about anybody that has had this problem after a hit on the head. Amnesia and quicksand – the two things you see in movies and cartoons that you rarely hear about in real life.
This type of movie also means plot holes you could drive a cab through (although Neeson should’ve stayed away from cabs in this movie, he had bad luck with them).
This movie was as implausible as most thrillers are, but it was fun to watch.Even car chases, which are usually lame in movies, were fun in this flick.
Any little twists in the movie are played fairly with the audience, and I’ll even forgive the thing people have been making fun of in James Bond movies forever – telling a person what your evil plan is right before you kill them. That way, “if” they escape, they can possibly ruin those dastardly deeds.
If you check your logic at the door while watching and grab a large popcorn, you’re going to have fun with this.
I’m giving it a B-.