Review: Unknown (2011)

"I will find you, and I will kill yo-" Wrong movie.

Unknown stars middle-aged action hero Liam Neeson (Taken) as a man who wakes up from a coma with some amnesia, and believing he is someone he is apparently not. The film seems to suffer the same problem about halfway through, post twist. It's not bad, but it's not exactly good, it's a decent thriller if a bit bland and stretched out. It's like if you took The Bourne Identity and made all the characters wear grey suits... hold on, that would be awesome, never mind. I give this film 6 question marks out of 10.

The Good:

  • Interesting premise and story. Lots of cool ideas are included in the film, but not quite enough to fill it out and counter balance the boringness.
  • The sets and locations were gritty and realistic, and made the experience more visceral.
  • The action, including a pretty decent car chase (aside from the face a car can reverse as fast as one can move forward apparently, you’ll know what I mean), and some of the fight was good, some of it boring. Not too much or too little violence and gore either.
  • The twist isn’t very good, but it suddenly makes the last section of the film more bearable. If I had to sit through that section with nothing refreshing happening i’d fall asleep.

The Bad:

  • After watching it I’m sick of Liam Neeson.
  • Grey. Boring. Dull. All these can be used to describe lots of the film, because as much as the gritty environments can add to a film, they can soon become overwhelming. It doesn’t help that things like the weather, characters clothes and such were also dull.
  • The acting is flat out… standard. Just nothing interesting at all.
  • It’s just mediocre all in all, no eye catching shots or anything, it feels like it was made in the action film factory. You know?
  • The horrible unrealistic computer ‘hacking’ sequence. Rarely do films get this right, admittedly. However it’s worth noting this was a pretty entertaining part of the film, in comparison to the typical action going on elsewhere.

So, this film isn’t necessarily explosive and unique, and it’s easily over shadowed by bigger action films (Faster (review coming soon), The Mechanic) which are probably much more entertaining. It sits in between action and thriller, and there just isn’t enough of either for it to be considered worth watching. Don’t watch this at the cinema, it’s not worth it. Maybe worth a rental or a stream and maybe just about worth buying on disc if you liked similar films.

Similar films to Unknown: The Bourne Identity (the trilogy), Taken, Quantum of Solace

Memento (waaay better.)

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2 responses to “Review: Unknown (2011)

  1. It does borrow a lot from others so it’s not incredibly original, but I do like the director. I just something about his movies that I’ve found enjoyable so far. Any particular reason(s) that you’re sick of Liam Neeson?

    • I was a little critical in this review I think. It is good for the brutal and gritty style, I just found it pretty bland. As for being sick of Liam Neeson: I watched Taken again recently and it’s not that long since I saw the A-Team, and I just find him a little… emotionless, you know? Thanks for the great comment!

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