Kish and I went to see Unknown on Saturday. We both like Liam Neeson and were in the mood for an action-adventure film. Unknown met those requirements — but not much else.
Unknown is a story of a man who is knocked unconscious in an accident, lapses into a coma, and is surprised to learn when he awakens that he has been replaced, in every facet of his life, by another man. It is the kind of movie that asks audience members to completely suspend their reasoning faculties and tries to maintain such a break-neck pace that you don’t have time to consider the plot holes and implausibilities. It features a big twist toward the end, and I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to see the film. However, it is the kind of twist that renders the overall plot so improbable that I, at least, felt a bit cheated.
With his craggy face and physical size, Liam Neeson is a believable action hero who looks like he could throw a punch and absorb a beating. His character is helped by an illegal alien taxi driver, played by Diane Kruger, and a former East German spy, played by Bruno Ganz. (Ganz is an accomplished actor and turned in a fine performance, but as I looked at him I couldn’t help but think of his performance as Adolf Hitler in Downfall. His depiction of Hitler, as Der Fuehrer is advised that the Russians are closing in, has been turned into countless YouTube parodies in which a subtitled Hitler supposedly reacts to unexpected results in sporting events. Whenever Ganz was on screen I found myself thinking of Hitler talking about his TO Dallas Cowboys jersey.)
Unknown is no great film, but it’s not an unpleasant way to spend a few hours on a cold and rainy day.