“Unknown” – The Film

In Ormond Beach, Florida, visiting my Mom, who asked to go out to a movie.  Despite the fact that the local multiplex has 12 screens, we were really scratching to find something to see.  The handful of films that I would want to see I had already seen in New York.  She doesn't get out much and hasn't seen many.  The only one that I hadn't seen that sounded worth seeing based on the description on moviefone.com was "Unknown," which opened last Friday and was #1 nationally over the holiday weekend.  So off we went.

This is all Liam Neeson, all the time.  The entire story is told from his perspective.  The premise is that he and his wife arrive in Berlin to attend a scientific conference at which he is scheduled to speak.  Upon arriving at their hotel, he realizes that his briefcase didn't make it into the taxi back at the airport.  Without a word to his wife, who has gone in to register for their room, he hops into another cab, heading back to the airport to try to find his briefcase.  His cab gets into a freak accident, dumping them off a bridge into a river and he is knocked out.  When he awakens in a hospital four days later, his memory is playing tricks on him.  When he goes back to the hotel, nobody knows him and there is no sign of his wife….

To say more than this would be to start to give away stuff beyond what is in the widely-distributed trailer, except to say that his identity is a big question mark throughout the film.

I found this to be fast-paced, well acted, and more than a bit incredible.  Indeed, thinking about it after the fact, I can think of details I might have changed to make it slightly more credible.  It includes one of the most fantastic car chases I've ever seen on film, and I've seen many, many car chases on film.

Is it a great movie?  No.  Is it good escapist fare?  Yes.  Can you take your mom?  There's no really explicit sex, but quite a bit of violence and killing…. all integral to the plot, of course.  My mom was baffled throughout… and even the final scenes where stuff gets sorted out did not enlighten her.  (Even my explanation after the movie did not really enlighten her.)  But that's OK – she was never bored!  And I found the continuing plot twists quite entertaining, as the "truth" slowly dawns….

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