Film Review: Unknown
● By Wendy Sipple
Liam Neeson starred in the very effective film Taken released about the same time two years ago. The people marketing Unknown were smart for tying the two films together in their advertising campaign.
Unfortunately Unknown is not nearly as fun or effective as Taken, and surprisingly I found myself bored through a fair amount of Unknown.
The premise is interesting, and done better before, as it centers around a man trying to reclaim his identity after a freak accident causes his memory loss. The details of the movie are very sloppy and it doesn’t take much thought to puncture huge holes in the plot. For some movies that would not be a problem, but Unknown is paced so slowly that it gives the audience way too much time to ponder the obvious flaws in its script.
The action scenes are haphazardly patched together in quick edits which are jarring to look at and at times hard to follow. There are only three main action sequences that come to mind and none of them were very original. In fact, the main car chase sequence resembled the car chase sequence from the romantic comedy Date Night which was released last year, and I must admit that the romantic comedy’s car chase sequence was done much better.
Liam Neeson is solid in the lead role. His ability to be convincing as both an everyday man and an action star puts him in a league with only a handful of other actors (Matt Damon, Bruce Willis and George Clooney are the few that come to mind). In fact, the performances in the movie were all acceptable as they did the best with the material they were given, which sadly was not enough.
If you are a fan of the mystery/thriller genre and go in with your expectations set low you may have fun with Unknown. It does have a few sequences that work, and you can have some fun laughing at the scenes that don’t. I would say it’s a lot like a Steven Segal movie with better acting and worse action scenes. You could do worse, but my expectations were set much higher.
FILMS LIKE UNKNOWN : Hard To Kill and The Long Kiss Goodnight
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.