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Movie review: ‘Unknown’

Unknown opens Friday.
Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Details

Two stars
Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra
Rated PG-13
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: Unknown
Rotten Tomatoes: Unknown

At some point, somebody, perhaps author Didier Van Cauwelaert, who wrote the 2003 novel that Unknown is based on, had a pretty good idea. Maybe he got that idea after watching The Bourne Identity, but no matter. A couple of screenwriters took hold of it, and director Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan) slowed it down to a crawl, while speeding up the many car chases and fistfights to a difficult-to-follow, fast-cutting frenzy. It follows Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson), who arrives in Berlin to take part in a biotechnology conference. He gets into a car accident, awakens from a coma and discovers that another man has taken over his life—and his wife, Liz (January Jones). A scrappy immigrant cabbie, Gina (Diane Kruger), lends a hand. The aforementioned good idea negates the ridiculous and implausible plot bits, but the sludgy, shallow stuff leading up to it does not exactly make for a crackerjack thriller.


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