October 5, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 57°F


Edgy performance stirs up suspense

Liam Neeson has carved himself quite the niche as a thriller-action hero and keeps up his strength in the international crime thriller “Unknown.”

The film opens with Dr. Martin Harris (Neeson) and his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) preparing for a conference in Berlin. But when Harris forgets his luggage and returns home for it, he gets into a car accident and ends up in a coma for four days. When he finally wakes up, Harris discovers his entire life has been taken over by an imposter.

The plot has been done before, but what separates this story from the rest is the superb acting of Neeson and his cab driver, Gina  (Diane Kruger). Neeson captures the gruffness of his character, but is still likeable. As he roves the streets of Berlin, begging people to believe his story, the audience can’t help but feel his anxiety. Kruger is wonderful as Neeson’s fearless cab driver who tries to help him recall his past.

On the other hand, Jones’ acting is a flop. She plays the same wooden character as she does on “Mad Men” — a bored housewife with little empathy. When Harris disappears and Elizabeth pretends to not know him, Jones is nowhere near convincing.

If viewers are able to look past the obvious problems and suspend their disbelief for two hours, they can enjoy a great thriller made worthwhile by Neeson’s acting.

“Unknown” was written by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra.

3 out of 4 stars