Unknown throws Liam Neeson back into a role that introduced him to a whole new generation. The part he plays here is almost identical to the one that he took on in Taken, a film in which Neeson plays a seemingly normal man who is thrust into a dangerous situation and is forced to become a killer. It’s a part that Neeson is good at and one that the producers on Unknown clearly wanted to cash in on.
As the film opens up, we see Neeson playing Dr. Martin Harris, who along with his wife Liz (January Jones), travels to Berlin, Germany for a biotechnology summit. Once they arrive, Martin leaves Liz at the hotel to make a quick trip back to the airport to get his briefcase which he left there. A cab driver named Gina (Diane Kruger) takes Martin back but while on the road, they get in a horrific car accident.
When the Harris awakens, Gina is gone and he finds himself in a hospital bed. He immediately heads back to the hotel to find Liz and explain to her what happened. When he arrives, he sees his wife with another man and he goes to confront her. She claims to not know who he is and she calls security.
Even worse is the fact that Liz claims that the man she is with is the real Martin Harris. Confused and unsure of what to do, Harris leaves the hotel and sets out to discover just what the heck is going on, why Liz claims to have never met him and why someone else has taken his identity.
Check out the rest of our Unknown theatrical review.
Warner Bros. offers up an impressive transfer for the film. Detail is especially good with facial detail being the highlight. Balanced contrast and appropriate depth and dimension make this a sharp and often appealing image. It’s a very tinted presentation and it lacks that pop that other titles have but overall, it’s not bad at all. The icy color palette fits the film quite well and it carries a slick look thanks to the excellent cinematography.
On the audio front, dialogue remains clear even as the action ramps up. The track is immersive and agressive with surrounds being used heavily. The audio here is always engaging and compliments the visuals. Ambient sounds pull you in and rear channel activity provides for some fantastic car chase scenes. It’s a fun track which suits the film well.
When it comes to special features, Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero and Unknown: What is Known? are the only two extras here. Seeing as both are about 5 minute EPK-ish features, I’d say skip them. Neither offer up anything interesting and both are rather pointless.
Ultimately, the film is a mixed bag. Jaume Collet-Serra shows promise with his slick filming and commendable attempts at action. He creates a number of scenes that are tension filled and well done but he’s stuck with an absolutely awful script. It’s so outrageous and maddening that it overshadows the positives in the film.
The film looks very polished on Blu-Ray and the accompanying audio track is near demo material but the special features are a huge letdown. We only get two crummy features that are entirely forgettable and not worth the watch.
If you’ve seen Unknown and you enjoyed it, the Blu-Ray is probably worth a buy due to the wonderful audio/video presentation. If you haven’t seen this one though, I’d steer clear. It’s a complete mess that starts off promising but will leave you feeling very disappointed and completely unsatisfied.
While it starts off promising, by the end of the film, it has all fallen apart. The script makes no sense and logic is thrown to the wind. The special features are also quite pathetic.