MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Blu-ray EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Liam Neeson stars as a doctor who is traveling to Berlin for a medical conference. After he and his wife check into the hotel, he takes a cab back to the airport for a forgotten bag. Along the way, the cab gets into a traffic accident, and he suffers a head injury and amnesia. When he wakes up, he discovers someone has stolen his identity and people are trying to kill him.
WHAT I LIKED
After “Taken” became a runaway hit at the box office, the world suddenly started to take Liam Neeson seriously as an action star. I, of course, already knew he was capable of this, having enjoyed films like “Darkman,” “Rob Roy” and even “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” It’s too bad the rest of the world took this long to see his potential.
Neeson is ultimately very likeable on screen, and even though he can be a menacing figure, he’s also able to elicit plenty of empathy from the audience. Knowing very little about him or his character, it’s easy to take a shine to him and get behind him.
The mystery to this movie isn’t brilliant, but it’s fun to watch it get revealed. Things work out somewhat predictably, but because you’re along for the ride with Neeson’s character, the drama unfolds as he discovers what’s going on.
With one small exception (see below for this), the actors are top-notch, featuring notable performances by Aidan Quinn and Frank Langella. For an international action flick, you can do a lot worse than “Taken.”
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The only real weak spot in this film was January Jones, who is having a banner year but can’t seem to overshadow her own chest. This is because she’s a terrible actress through and through. She stumbles through “Unknown” with a look of confusion, and her line delivery is as flat as she is curved. January Jones is the photo negative of Megan Fox… pretty on the surface but a terrible actor who looks bewildered in the bright lights of the movie set.
Aside from a multi-pack featuring the DVD and a Digital Copy disc, the “Unknown” Blu-ray is really thin. There are two featurettes included: “Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero” and “Unknown: What Is Known?”
Not to bash January Jones more than I should, it’s worth noting that she comes across as flat with her delivery in these interviews as she does in the film. So maybe it’s not that she’s a bad actress… maybe she’s just a boring on-screen personality.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who like international action thrillers.