Unknown Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones Running Time: 1 hr 49 mins Rating: PG-13 Due Out: June 21, 2011
PLOT: A doctor (Neeson) is set to speak at a bio-tech conference that could change the world, but he gets into an accident. Suddenly, his wife (Jones) doesn’t recognize him and he must try to prove he’s really Dr. Martin Harris.
WHO'S IT FOR? It’s your basic run-of-the-mill thriller with a good mystery brewing. SPOILER ALERT — there will be some things that are discussed in this review. Don’t worry, I do my best when it comes to spoilers so if you aren’t already out the door buying your ticket to Unknown you should be safe. Don’t trust other critics with spoilers though … ever.
It’s not a bad ride, but you eventually come to the realization that it’s about the reveal. Who dunnit? How’d they do that? Only the great thrillers can make you hooked from beginning to end, and the best part with those is that you forget how desperate you are for the ending/reveal. Plus, women typically play such a vital role in these types of films. They are our sympathy, our tension, our allure. We have a deer in headlights (Jones) and an Eastern bloc accent (Kruger) slowing us down on that front.
With Unknown, it goes through the motions of a thriller almost too easy. People are constantly in the right place at the right time. A gun always gets knocked loose, someone is barely spotted at the last second, it all feels done before. I needed more moments like a quick comment about thin walls and then suddenly bodies smashing through them. That’s a shock. That’s a surprise. Unknown didn’t have enough. Plus, while they did have a decent reveal, they gave it away a little too quickly. After that we’re stuck in a normal action movie.
There is a known quality to Unknown and it’s that of a pretty average film.
MOVIE SCORE: 6/10
Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero
Unknown: What is Known?