What would you do if you were in the hospital and woke up from a coma, only to find out that someone else has taken your place and everyone you thought you knew, and loved, told you they didn’t know who you are? Imagine facing everyone and being told that all of your memories were false. Would you begin to question your true identity? What would you do to go about proving that you are who you are? What measures would you take? The new film Unknown attempts to answer some of these questions in this new action thriller brought to us by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The film is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and stars Liam Neeson as Dr. Martin Harris. Travelling to Berlin with his wife Elizabeth Harris (January Jones) to attend a bio-agricultural conference he accidentally leaves his briefcase containing all of his identification at the airport. When they arrive at their hotel he realizes this and immediately jumps into a cab to head back to the airport to retrieve it.
The cab drivers name is Gina (Diane Kruger). On the way to the airport a freak accident causes the car to run off of a bridge and plummet into the river below. He is saved by Gina but his heart stops and is given CPR by the paramedics. He slips into a coma for four days.
When he awakes from the coma he is confused as to who he is, and even more so why his wife is not there with him. The doctors explain to him that he had no identification on him. He tells them he is Dr. Martin Harris and eventually is released from the hospital. He goes to his hotel in search of his wife. When he sees her he is delighted to but there’s one problemâ€¦she says she doesn’t know who he is. And she does have a husband, there’s another man who claims to be Dr. Martin Harris. At first he thinks it’s some sort of sick joke but comes to realize that it is actually happening. Someone has taken his place.
So he begins his journey to prove his identity. He enlists the help of Gina and a former East German Spy by the name of Ernst JÃ¼rgen (Bruno Ganz). Shortly thereafter he discovers that there are men following him and on numerous occasions trying to kill him.
Ok, so right off the bat let me say that this film does have an interesting twist in it. It’s one you won’t see coming and will be surprising. The biggest problem is that by the time you get to the twist, you won’t really care all that much because frankly the film should be over by that point. The film is simply too long and slow in too many spots. If it was 20-30 minutes shorter it would have worked better as a whole.
The acting is good. Liam Neeson does his typical job of putting in a strong and convincing performance. The majority of his roles are mellower, and this is no exception. The few action scenes in which he’s physical are convincing. He’s a tall guy and has a strong build, so it’s entirely plausible.
There is a short appearance by actor Frank Langella in the film. He’s a great actor and puts in a strong supporting performance. The unique quality and tone of his voice is a perfect match for the tone of this film.
This is a movie that audiences will probably enjoy watching. Although the trailer makes the movie feel a lot like the movie Taken, and some people have thrown out the phrase “Taken 2” at it, it’s nothing like that film. It’s not as good either. But this is a movie that will entertain you and make you feel that you didn’t just throw away $15 at the theater.
FINAL GRADE: B â€“
Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres
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