Director: Jaume Collet-Serra, Rated MA, 113 Mins
This tantalising thriller from Spanish born director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) is reminiscent of The Bourne Identity or a Hitchcock mystery movie where the major character’s identity is not all that it seems, and the mystery of who the real person is unfolding in the concluding scenes.
Based on award-winning French author Didier Van Cauwelaert’s novel Out of My Head, the movie begins with the arrival in Germany of American scientist Dr Martin Harris (Liam Neeson - Taken) and his beautiful wife Elizabeth (January Jones - The Boat that Rocked) who are in Berlin attending a bio-technology conference.
But in arriving at the hotel, Harris discovers one of his bags missing and (without telling his wife) quickly jumps into a cab to head back to the airport only to see the cab being forced over a bridge and himself plunging into the freezing waters of the Berlin River.
Harris wakes up in hospital after a four-day coma not knowing immediately his real identity but soon recalls his name and returns to the hotel to discover that there is another Dr Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn - The Eclipse) with his wife Elizabeth who denies knowing him (Neeson).
Thus begins Neeson’s frantic search for the truth using the cab driver Gina (Diane Kruger - National Treasure) who rescued him from the river as a starting point to help him through some exciting car chases and fight scenes.
Like Hitchcock’s North by Northwest which dealt withmistaken identity, Collet-Serra’s Unknown introduces the audience to a character which appears to have more than one identity that is somewhat muddied by the director’s use of dream sequences showing his wife Elizabeth and another woman.
Once again there is a memorable performance from Neeson, not to mention Kruger’s wonderful role as his partner in crime as well as those from Bruno Ganz as an investigator trying to help Neeson and Frank Langella as Neeson’s “good” friend.
Collet-Serra has certainly created an entertaining movie filmed against the cinematic beauty of the German capital that is filled with thrills and spills and concludes with a fascinating twist at the end.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3½ Rubber Stamps
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