Last year Christopher Nolan gave us Inception and you can expect rip offs of that coming through the flood gates (even though it is just a rip off of a Scrooge McDuck cartoon, seriously look it up). The trailers for Unknown make it seem somewhat of an Inception clone, but it is actually more similar to another Nolan film, Memento.
Unknown stars Liam Neeson (The Phantom Menace, Schindler’s List) as Dr. Martin Harris, a scientist on a trip to Germany with his wife Elizabeth (Mad Men’s January Jones). They are in Germany for a conference and when they go to check in to the hotel, Martin realizes his briefcase with his identification got left behind so he jumps into a cab to head back to the airport.
On the way there, the cab swerves off a bridge and crashes into the water. Martin is saved by the driver Gina (Diane Kruger from Inglorious Basterds), but after he hits his head. He wakes up four days later from a coma in a German hospital. With no ID on him, the hospital could not contact his wife or others at the hotel. After seeing the news on the hospital TV, Martin pieces together a few memories and realizes where he is staying and that his wife must be looking for him. He checks himself out and heads to the hotel.
Without a passport, the hotel won’t let him into his room, but Martin sees his wife in a conference room and convinces the hotel employee to let him speak to her. But when Liz says she doesn’t know the man and brings her husband, Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn) over, security escorts Martin out of the hotel. Completely confused, Martin is unsure of what’s happening. He sees a cab which helps him put together a bit more of his memory and heads out to find the driver that saved him.
After speaking to the man who runs the cab company, he learns Gina has been fired because of the accident, but a fellow employee tells Martin where to find her. Gina is now a waitress and won’t talk with him. Thinking he is crazy and no one believing him, Martin gets sent back to the hospital. There a nurse gives him a name of someone that can help him. But while at the hospital he is attacked which is proving to Martin that his memories are real and that he is not insane.
With this new information and help from the nurse’s friend, he knows he is Dr. Martin Harris. He convinces Gina to help since she is the only one that knows about the accident and him being in her cab. Now Martin and Gina are being chased by the man who attacked him at the hospital and Martin can’t figure out why his wife is lying and why he is under attack.
With more information coming his way and memories slowly coming back, Martin learns the real truth behind why he is in Germany. Can he and Gina put it all together in time or is it too late?
Sure a lot of people are saying it looks like a sequel to Liam Neeson’s Taken, but once you see the film, you realize it isn’t. It has a very good surprise twist and lots of action sequences which makes you wonder what type of James Bond Neeson could have made. Every action movie shot in Europe today must have a car chase sequence in it and this film’s version is pretty good although not as good as a Jason Bourne one. Even at his age, Neeson pulls off these types of action movie heroes that he’s been doing lately. His characters are aged and experienced and Dr. Martin Harris is yet another great character for Neeson’s resume. Any Liam Neeson fan should be pleased with Unknown.
Both January Jones and Diane Kruger play their roles well and its good to see Aidan Quinn in a quality film. It is quite the departure for director Jaume Collet-Serra, the man behind Orphan and House of Wax who will easily get handed the camera for another action film after this success this will have.
The film is a good mix of action, suspense, who done it, what’s gonna happen next and woah didn’t see that coming. And as you sit there you do come up with a few questions that at first makes the movie not as good, but as you are watching it, they all get answered at the end. This being a spoiler free review, you won’t get any questions till you see the film for yourself.
If you liked Taken, Memento, Inception, movies that make you think and/or Liam Neeson, then Unknown is for you. Some good explosions and chase sequences make the film a good action flick, but the storyline and plot twist makes it a very good suspense thriller. With weak competition opening against it, Unknown should be the number one film at the box office and highly deserves it.
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