Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Movie Review: "Unknown"

Dr. Jason Bourne is in the office. His
prescription: Kicking ass.
Let's get things straight here: In the end, I rather liked Unknown. But it wasn't a foregone conclusion. For the first 20-30 minutes, I was thinking, "Why did I ever agree to come to this when I could have been reading?" As the plot progressed, and things began to unfold, though, I found myself liking it more and more.

(Spoilers may lurk below the jump.)

So the movie starts with Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson), a researcher in biosciences, and his wife Liz (January Jones) arriving in Berlin for a major conference. From there, things start to go wrong, and culminate in Martin's taxi driving off a bridge into a river.

He's in a coma for a few days, and when he wakes up, he finds that no one remembers him, and, in fact, a different man is claiming to be "Dr. Martin Harris". From there, he enlists the help of a former Stasi agent turned investigator and the illegal Serbian cabdriver who got him into this whole mess to begin with.

Like I said in the intro, it takes time for things to unfold, but when they do so, it's actually pretty interesting. The uncertainty about what's actually going on, and the tension that causes is a nice touch.

With that said, I feel that I need to address the fight scenes. Holy shit, did they suck. I joked to my brother that I expected one of Our Hero's aliases to be "Jason Bourne", but although they lifted a lot of things from the Bourne films, they did not take the choreography to heart. It's possible, I suppose, that it was just where I was sitting (the front row), but all of the fights were pretty much incomprehensible clusterfucks, and I could never tell who was doing what. Maybe the Bourne fights were less realistic, but come on, people. We're talking about an amnesiac super-assassin beating/shooting his way through multiple major cities on the trail of a Sooper-Sekrit Gubmint Conspiracy. Realism is probably not what you should be worrying about.

But aside from the fights and the draggy first part, Unknown is solid action fare, and if you like that sort of thing, you'll probably like it.

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