Anyway, hello interneting world this is CleverEuphemism writing to you about the movie Unknown. No, it’s not an unknown movie, it’s called Unknown, and it stars Liam Neeson. Sadly not Liam Neeson in a kilt though.
Although this movie would have been better if it did have Liam Neeson in a kilt. Fuck, any movie would be better if it had Liam Neeson in a kilt.
So this movie had a couple of things going for it before I ever sat down to watch it. One, I got to see it for free since Sugary decided to donate blood, and they decided to reward her with free movie tickets, and I’m all about blood-tickets.
Oh, and aside from the free-ness the movie had Liam Neeson who thrives in movies with one word titles: Taken, Kinsey, Ponyo, a movie called Revolver in which he plays “man,” and Nailed where he plays “Young Catholic.”
Back to the topic at hand… in Unkown Liam Neeson plays, seemingly average joe from New Hampshire, Dr. Martin Harris who has a wife named Elizabeth Harris (January Jones). The movie opens with the happy couple going to Germany because Martin is scheduled to present on some sort of biotechnological breakthrough. It sounds all important, but really… it’s filler, right? I mean, no movie with this awesome poster (see below) could have anything to do about a new strain of corn that will end world hunger, but there are some really rich companies who will not stand for this and will try and steal the corn’s genome structure for themselves, right? WRONG!
Yeah, the poster is a lie… kind of. I guess the hint is the fact it tries to immediately remind you that Taken was a movie that was good might not bode well…
So now that we are strapped in thinking “Oh great, now we get to see this goddamn emotionless bore get to present about the awesomeness of self perpetuating corn….” Things take a sudden shift. You see, Martin, who seems to be controlling and anal, and a perfectionist, and overanalyzes every situation, makes the biggest mistake any traveler can make. HE LEAVES HIS LUGGAGE ON THE CART WHILE LOADING THE TAXI.
It is unclear why the bag he leaves behind is so important, but the second he realizes the bag is missing Martin high tails his ass back to the airport. He doesn’t even bother to tell his wife that he is leaving to go get the back. He’s all like “screw this, TAXI! TAXI! Hey you look like a crazy unsafe driver who will get me back to the airport in no time, without even having us wind up in the water and stuff!” (We call that foreshadowing) And then, after he decided to run away without telling the wife he was going back to the airport, ‘cause leaving your wife without telling her when you are in a place neither of you know is a good idea, he tries to call her. And wouldn’t you know he doesn’t get a signal… in the middle of metropolitan Germany. Oh he tries to call like 10 times…
And wouldn’t you know it, on his way back to the airport, and before he gets in touch with his wife, the taxi crashes, and Martin winds up in a coma for the next 4 days. And as soon as he wakes up all he can think about is “OMG, MY WIFE, LIZ, WHERE IS SHE? WHY ISN’T SHE HERE? DOES SHE KNOW?... SHES OUT THERE.. SOMEWHERE.. ALONE.. IN GERMANY, YOU NEED TO LET ME GO!” Now, as crazy misogynistic as that is… what is even crazier is that the medical professionals go “Well, we shouldn’t but… okay. Here, take my card in case you need help during the next 70 minutes of the movie.”
Martin hunts down his wife and finds her at the biotech gala with some other guy who is wearing the name tag “Dr. Martin Harris.” So, doing what any logical person would do he goes up to her and is like “Baby, look, I know you were waaaay neglectful and didn’t visit me in the hospital, but here I am, your husband, Martin Harris, and I’m back, and large and in charge… oh, and who is this doofus?” And how does she react to this bit of news?
Yes that is really the look she gives him at this exact moment. Can’t you tell how happy she is to see her husband she’s been missing for 4 days? THAT IS WHAT WE CALL ACTING!
Clearly the wife doesn’t believe Liam Neeson-Martin Harris is Martin Harris, but instead believes this new guy wearing the name tag is really her husband Dr. Martin Harris. This sends Liam into a tizzy fit which upsets the tender sensibilities of a number of German security people and they kick him out and send him back to the hospital.
The Doctor then tells Liam, and by proxy the audience, that memories can change, and the mind works in strange ways, and it begins to seem like maybe Liam is just a crazy dude or something… well, crazier than normal. But then psychotic Bob Saget comes to kill Liam. (To be fair we see psychotic Bob Saget earlier in the movie when Liam is a douche and doesn’t hold the door to the subway for the guy, and apparently Bob didn’t take that too kindly.)
At this point Liam Neeson, and the audience realize, maybe Liam isn’t crazy, but that maybe he was replaced during his 4 day coma and that his wife is lying about not recognizing him since she is either in on the plan, or is being threatened, or something. And then Liam something along the lines of “at first I thought I might be crazy… but then… then they came for me.. and then.. and then I knew!”
This is when the movie really takes off down the path we all were waiting for. The bodies start to stack up all over the place, and Liam runs through Germany with the taxi driver who caused the crash he was in (Diane Kruger), who is less hot in this movie though… sad… for everyone.
During the murderous sprees it is clear that for whatever reason, no matter how many people the “bad guys” kill to try and get to Liam, in some pretty obvious and gruesome ways, whenever they get the chance to kill Liam themselves they try to make it look like an accident of some sort, as if they don’t want to police to investigate his murder… you know… as if the 30 bodies of collateral they leave behind don’t leave a trail of some sort , …and honestly, THIS IS NEVER EXPLAINED.
Now I don’t want to ruin some of the major plot points, because the movie does leave you guessing, and it is a fun journey. One thing I wish I realized before I saw this movie was that the director of this film was the director of Orphan, which you may remember from the commercials a few years back about an orphan girl adopted by a family and then a whole bunch of bad things start to happen but no one wants to blame the 8 year old girl, but the twist in that film is that she is really a 40 year old hooker midget with a 10 mile long rap sheet. And really, Unknown goes back to the well of LET ME PULL TWIST AFTER TWIST OUT AND KEEP THE AUDIENCE GUESSING TIL THE END. And honestly… it mostly works until like the 4th or 5th revelation and you are like “Okay, come on, start playing fair already. I get it, you made the film, and I’m gonna stop guessing on what comes next since clearly you make it impossible to do that.”
In the end, Liam Neeson continues to show he has a knack for action movies, and that movies about corn conspiracies can be interesting, if a bit outlandish. If you enjoyed Taken, then you should enjoy this. It is fun, and keeps you interested, at least until you just stop trying to figure things out and just impatiently wait for it to all be explained to you in some sort of monologue… yeah it is one of those… complete with flashbacks no less, but at least it is done by Frank Langella, I can imagine him doing it in his Nixon voice.
I give Unknown 3 Liam Neeson Kilts out of 5. Now let’s all hope Sugary Cynic gets some sleep and makes a miraculous comeback, because clearly she has a knack for this I don’t. Ciao internet!
Princess Leia: "I love you"
Hans Solo: "UNKNOWN’D!"