Wednesday, March 9, 2011

“UNKNOWN” 2011 Movie Review. A Gripping, Scorching “Stolen Identity” Thriller.


If you relish a good drool of enthralling mystery, dark suspense and explosive action, then “UNKNOWN” definitely has the right package.

It won’t disappoint.

There’re also potent touches a la ROMAN POLANKSI and ALFRED HITCHCOCK if you can spot these.

What’s more, you’d probably get scorched to your seat whilst biting your nails anticipating the hero’s next move.

The heat is intense and the action hot-hot.

Danger lurketh in the unknown. As always.

Liam Neeson is this biochemist Dr. Martin Harris jetting into Berlin for a conference with his wife Liz (January Jones) bankrolled by an altruistic Saudi Arabian prince.

All is not well.

On a lone taxi trip minus his wife, the vehicle crashes, plunging violently off the bridge into the river, taking his memory along with it.

Accident or espionage?

Harris falls into a 4-day comatose after being saved by pretty cabbie Gina (Diane Kruger).

Yet, when he finally awakens from his “slumber” he discovers that his entire world has become topsy-turvy.

His wife does not recognize him and she’s enjoying the company of a suave impostor Martin B (Aidan Quinn) who has stolen his identity as the husband.

What has happened?

Failing to convince everyone that he’s the man, Harris finds himself alone on the icy streets with Gina in a city that’s full of strife and perils.

Directed by Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, who made the horror-thriller “ORPHAN”, this is an fast-paced conspiracy yarn, propelling the action fast and furious, with equal doses of mystery, thrills and spins.

Liam Neeson delivers a splendid albeit provocative performance in this psychological thriller as an exasperated man who is trying to prove all and sundry that he’s for real.

You can feel his blinding rage.

Neeson was a major international hit with 2008’s TAKEN and has become an every man’s vision of an action star.

The actor slips effortlessly into the role of an ordinary fella who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances, a man who’s forced to retaliate when fate pushes him into a tight corner.

Essentially it is Neeson’s acting vehicle where he delivers with aplomb.

Without him UNKNOWN the movie would not be able to stand to the fore.

A worthy mention here of two older actors: Bruno Ganz, an established Swiss actor, shows up as an old Stasi agent who understands the trappings of the dark, desolate world and the reality that comes with it.

And award winning Frank Langella, in the role of an aging professor, a trusted colleague of Dr. Harris.

Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra sets a heart-pounding mood and tone throughout the film, one that leaves you with little time to ponder over the plot-holes unearthed by the perplexed script.

The fight sequences, frantic car chases and action scenes are well choreographed and executed, particularly the dramatic opening car crash and the ferocious showdown climax towards the end.


Sometimes you’ve to be discerning about friendships.

Your closest ally can turn out to be your most deadly enemy.

Not everything is always what it seems.


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