Taniel's Review of Unknown
Unknown follows Dr. Martin Harris, who awakens from a coma after a horrifying car crash. His wife does not recognize anymore and he soon realizes that another man has assumed his identity. With the help of Gina, the driver of the car he crashed in, he strives to get his identity back and ultimately his life. The film stars Liam Neeson, January Jones, Aidan Quinn, Bruno Ganz, and Frank Langella. Jaume Collet-Serra directs the film.
The concept of the film was interesting, it reminded me a bit of The Bourne Identity, so I was genuinely excited to see this film especially given the prospect that Liam Neeson was starring. Ultimately, the film is a failure and one of my least favorite movies of the year. It's slow, preposterous, and poorly executed. Sure, Liam Neeson is a good as he ever is, and he nearly saves the movie. He's believable in the film and gives the film an added element that the action and suspense fail to provide. Every action scene is a dud, their isn't a single exciting moment in this film. You just sort of sit there and watch everything unravel and when the film ends, it's ultimately not worth the ride.
I also was distraught to find that this film boasted an extremely bad script. The female characters were criminally underrated and it's a shame because Diane Kruger ultimately gives it her all but her character is just too underdeveloped and her character suffers. January Jones, oh god, probably the single worst performance I've seen all year. She fails to generate any emotion whatsoever and even when the film provides her with an interesting twist, she ruins it with her awful, awful performance.
That brings me to my next point, the twist. It's an interesting twist that is a bit unrealistic and preposterous, but it's still an undeniably interesting twist. Frank Langella doesn't enter this film until the third act and he gives a chilling performance. The scene he shares with Bruno Ganz is the single most effective and engaging scene in the entire film. The problem is, the ending to this film is rushed and the twist isn't fully explained or developed. It's just sort of reveals itself through cloudy flashbacks and leads to a generic, explosion filled ending that ultimately leads the audience horribly unsatisfied.
Unknown is a disappointment given the level of talent involved. It's a shoddily written and poorly executed generic action film that begged to be so much more.