After his brawny role in the surprisingly successful Taken
, Liam Neeson returns in another European action thriller, and this one manages to be just as good. Neeson's character this time around isn't an all-out man of action as in Taken
, but here, he plays Dr. Martin Harris, an academic who is in Berlin trying to unravel a mystery which has him on the run from sinister bad guys.
The comparisons between the 2 movies are inevitable, but they are misplaced. They are both set in Europe, sure, but in style and tone they are markedly different. Unknown has this terrific Hitchcock-mystery feel to it, and the script is peppered with amazing twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Neeson once again displays some brilliant acting chops, and portrays the beleagured Harris with spot-on weariness.
The action scenes and car chases are well filmed, the script keeps you guessing, and some terrific cameos all add up to a brilliant thriller, one that's well worth your time! (4 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
Dr. Martin Harris awakens after a car accident in Berlin to discover that his wife suddenly doesn't recognize him and another man has assumed his identity.
Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run.
Aided by an unlikely ally, Martin plunges headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he's willing to go to uncover the truth.
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Review This Product
Mon, 19 Sep 2011 | Review by: Micky B
A well-known critic once pointed out that with the exception of "The Birds", it was almost impossible to gauge what any Alfred Hitchcock movie was about, solely by its title. Although the great Sir Alfred is no longer wiuth us: here, again, we have a film that gives away nothing from what it is called. Unknown indeed!
Yet the picture itself goes to highlight yet again what a superb actor Liam Neeson is! Here, he plays Dr. Martin Harris who, together with his wife Liz (January Jones) arrives in Berlin for a biotechnology summit. At their hotel, Martin realizes his briefcase was left at the airport. He takes a taxicab driven by Gina (Diane Kruger), but on the way to the airport, the cab crashes off a bridge into the river. Martin is knocked unconscious upon impact, but Gina saves him from drowning before fleeing from the scene to avoid the police, since she is an illegal immigrant from Bosnia. Four days later, he gains consciousness in a hospital. Returning to his hotel, he discovers another man (Aidan Quinn) with his wife - who tells hotel security she does not know him! He attempts to contact his old colleague Prof. Rodney Cole (Frank Langella), who is unavailable, due to Thanksgiving in the United States. Martin then heads to the office of Prof. Bressler, whom he is scheduled to meet that day. However, he sees the impostor, "Martin B" already in a meeting with Bressler. As Martin attempts to prove his identity, Martin B shows him his ID and family photo - both of which have Martin's name, only with his face replaced by that of the impostor. It's as though he has never existed! Disillusioned by the identity crisis, Martin falls unconscious and finds himself back at the hospital. An assassin sent to target him kills Nurse Gretchen Herfort, but Martin escapes.
I figure it isn't my place to reveal any more of the plot, but his nightmarish life continues at a cracking pace like this. Yes, you could call it "an action thriller deluxe" if you so choose - and you'd be spot on! One cannot praise the acting performances highly enough, particularly that of Mr Neeson, and the high production standards have ensured some flawless car chases and other action sequences.
I most definitely and unhesitatingly recommend it. Its red-hot entertainment!
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