"Unknown" ** 1/2 (109 minutes)

Tuesday February 15, 2011

I had severe trepidation going in to the screening. The director, Jaume Collet-Serra, had a somewhat miserable past track record-which included a (yet another) version of "House of Wax" (2005) and 2009's "Orphan". Although not a complete failure, I admit this extremely implausible action film kept my interest up for most of the running time-before falling completely apart in the last reel.

After his personal success in 2008's "Taken", Liam Neesom is once again cast in an action role where, after a violent auto accident, he has to deal with amnesia-his and/or all of the folks who, he believes, knew him before the accident. In Berlin to attend a biotechnology convention with his wife (January Jones-currently a regular on TV's "Mad Men"), things go quickly awry for Dr. Martin Harris after discovering, while checking in at the hotel, that he left his briefcase at the airport. Catching another taxi to return to the airport, that accident happens where his (female) taxi driver (Diane Kruger) rescues him from the icy waters. After awakening in the hospital, he discovers no one knows who he is. That includes his wife, who is now in the company of the, supposedly, "real" Dr. Harris (Aiden Quinn).

That's the setup as numerous plot twists-and-turns transpire that eventually leads to a conclusion complete with an exhaustive explanation/wrap up. However, by the time it arrives, I could have cared less about whom he was and the preposterous motives and goings-on behind all the nonsense.

Neesom plays a convincing part, as do all of the principals. And the action sequences are nicely staged, but, in the end, I found myself walking out with nary a remembrance, or care, of what I had just witnessed.
Dr. Harris (Liam Neesom) ans wife, Elizabeth
(January Jones) arrive in Berlin
Martin Harris (Aiden Quinn)-or is he?

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