Friday, 25 March 2011

Unknown Review

If the Gaslight Anthem was the Bourne Identity, Unknown would be AM Taxi.  Very similar, almost as good, but without the longevity for successful follow ups.  I know that makes it sound like I didn't like it but put it in perspective: I have all of Gaslight Anthem's albums and they're one of my favourite groups.  I also have AM Taxi's album and very much enjoy listening to it.  So, I guess you could say I'm a fan of the suspense thriller genre.  And this is suspense thriller at its finest.  This movie is very tight.  You spend a lot of time wondering how they are going to wrap things up with no plot holes and they manage to do it.  While many of you will probably say you saw the big twist coming, I will admit that it took me by surprise.  And that's the hallmark of a good thriller: it surprises you.

From a technical standpoint, I thought the movie was very well done.  The directing is very consistent.  Having it set in Berlin at the end of November is genius.  It lends a bleakness and cold atmosphere to the movie that makes it seem real.  The only problems I had with the movie are first, January Jones' performance is below average.  She looked the part but her acting was just wooden.

Second, while I know why they made the Martin Harris character an American, I thought it was unnecessary (if he had not been American, this movie would never have seen the light of day in North America.  It's all about selling tickets after all.  And, as a businessman, I can respect that.).  I am a big Liam Neeson fan and while his American accent isn't horrible, he just seems more at ease when he can use his natural Irish accent.  So I would have preferred if he had been an Irish scientist.  But his performance is still good.  I wouldn't say it was his best.  Taken and Love Actually are still better performances.  But it is very solid.

The verdict: See.  If you like the genre, you should really like it.  Even if you aren't a suspense fan, it is a very well made and tight movie.

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