Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
|Featuring:||Liam Neeson (Dr. Martin Harris), January Jones (Elizabeth Harris), Diane Kruger (Gina), Aidan Quinn (Martin B.), Frank Langella (Rodney Cole), See all »|
|Producer:||Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC), Davis-Films (Paris, France), Deutscher Filmfoerderfonds (DFFF), See all »|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Take back your life.”
In “Unknown,” Liam Neeson plays Dr. Martin Harris. He and his wife Liz (January Jones) are traveling to Berlin to attend a biotechnology summit. Upon arriving at their hotel, Martin realizes he has forgotten his briefcase back at the airport, which contains all of his personal information. Without telling his wife, Martin hurriedly catches another cab back to the airport. Along the way, he’s involved in a car wreck and gets knocked unconscious. The taxi driver, Gina (Diane Kruger), rescues him, just as the paramedics arrive. Once he’s safe, she silently walks away from the scene.
When Dr. Harris finally awakens, he finds that he has been in a coma for four days. Along with no identification, his head trauma has caused him to suffer from mild amnesia. When he’s finally able to remember enough to return to the hotel, he sees Liz, but his happiness is short lived. Upon seeing her husband, Liz stares at him blankly and claims that she doesn’t know him. Dr. Harris remains adamant and shocked, but Liz then introduces her real husband, who is also Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn).
The amnesiac Dr. Harris believes he might actually be crazy, until he notices he’s being hunted down. After narrowly escaping a hitman, Dr. Harris is determined to prove his identity. He hires a private investigator and tracks down Gina in order to get behind the mystery of his identity once and for all.
No doubt Liam Neeson is a talented actor who can hold a movie on his own. While viewing this film, it’s hard not to compare it to Neeson’s 2009 hit “Taken.” While the latter is a tight thriller, “Unknown” is also entertaining and extremely well acted, but its implausibility and somewhat unoriginal twist, damage its entertainment value. The men tracking down Dr. Harris are very loud and careless, at times. In addition, once the twist is revealed, it isn’t quite dramatic or emotional enough, but simply moves on to the next scene. Though the film has some minuses, it’s well paced, never lingering in one place for too long.
In all, there are about 15 uses of profanity/vulgarity, including 1 GD and about 2 sh*t. Besides the profanity, there’s a moderate amount of sexual content. There are several flashbacks where Martin and Liz are shown kissing in a shower. Only her upper chest is shown; these aren’t too graphic and are between a man and his wife. Near the end of the film, Liz is shown in a very low-cut evening gown. When visiting Gina, she and Martin hear her neighbors having sex through the thin wall. The noise gets louder, and once it’s over, she comments that the man “never lasts long.” Gina makes a joke about sleeping with every American.
Besides a couple of car chases and some fist fights, the violence is heavy due to some rather graphic murders. One woman gets her neck snapped; another gets stabbed in the neck. One character commits suicide by drinking cyanide, while another gets smashed by a car. Two other people die by explosion. And finally, one man is injected with a drug and slowly dies.
As Dr. Harris regains more of his memory, he becomes more unhappy. However, Gina tells him that what matters is what he does now. She’s right. Though we might make mistakes in life, the important thing is to keep improving—becoming more like Christ. In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul writes:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“Unknown” is a fairly decent thriller. I’m a fan of Diane Kruger, and it was nice to see her hold her own alongside veteran actor Liam Neeson. Though I do not personally recommend the film, my advice for those who like action thrillers is to wait until the DVD release.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.