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"Unknown" Review

I love it when the trailer spells out the plot and saves me the typing. Watch this:

As Unknown spun its tale of replaced identity, it genuinely built suspense as I wondered who exactly Liam Neeson and his deal were. I started having wild fears of a possible explanation which would be so silly as to render the whole movie a waste of time. However, when they finally do explain the deal, it just lets all the air out of the movie, rendering the last act an exercise in mild tedium because I just didn't care about the somewhat silly plot twist. They tried for clever and landed in stupid.

Liam Neeson is good here as is Bruno Ganz as a former East German Stasi spook who agrees to help Liam sort out the mystery of his life. On the other hand, I thought January Jones was flat. I thought nerds were bashing her so-so turn as Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class partially because they hate her as Betty Draper on Mad Men, but watching Unknown right after an episode of Hammtown (as my girlfriend calls it), I'm noticing the same flat iciness in everything she does. It's a little off-putting.

While Unknown isn't a bad movie, the way it fumbles the payoff after such an interesting setup magnifies the disappointment. I dropped it a point from where I'd thought it was at by the time things wrapped up and have decided to dock it another point for only being 2/3rds a good thriller before tripping within sight of the finish line.

Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable or, better yet, watch Taken to see Liam Neeson rampage through Paris.


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