With Liam Neeson kicking ass in a European country, fighting a nefarious conspiracy, and trying to reclaim what has been taken from him, you’d be excused for thinking that Unknown is a sequel to the highly popular Taken. And the films do share plenty in common. Both involve Neeson trying to regain his life against a ludicrous conspiracy, and both are equally ludicrous in their action sequences, and yet both are fun, passably diversionary entertainment. Neeson gets into a car accident to find that his wife (January Jones, blankly Betty Drapier wherever she goes) doesn’t recognize him and enjoys the company of another man asserting the identity of Neeson. Is he really crazy? That idea lasts about ten minutes before the bad guys and their bad guy accents come to kill Neeson and tie up a loose end. The action is swift, well edited, and fairly exciting, a highpoint being a thrilling car chase through the streets of Berlin. The movie has enough clues and questions to string along an audience, though by film’s end you wish you got more scenes with Neeson in full-on attack mode, as seen in Taken from start to finish. What is it about losing one’s memory that always turns men and women into better people? Perhaps prison rehabilitation should consist of a Flinstones-esque treatment of knocks to the head to adjust moral consciousness for the better.
Nate’s Grade: B