Saturday, February 19, 2011

‘Unknown’ quantity, evident quality

American botanist Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) discovers an elaborate scheme that makes him question his sanity. After a car accident in Berlin, he's baffled that someone has taken over his identity, and his wife (January Jones) looks like she’s in on it. He’s soon convinced that there’s a conspiracy afoot when an assassin tries to dispose of him.

Despite typical establishing techniques used in the lead character’s ordeal, “Unknown’s” mysteries unravel steadily, and the revelations are satisfyingly backed up. The desperation of Neeson’s Harris is palpable; Jones as the blank-faced wife perplexes but ultimately fits, and Aidan Quinn as the smug replacement husband rightly infuriates.

The whole cover-up angle isn’t without holes, but “Unknown” manages to control its preposterousness and presents a rather solid and enigmatic escapade.

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