Juame Collet-Serra (House of Wax, 2005) takes the helm of this action mystery dealing with mistaken identity. Collet-Serra shows growth from his directorial debut, as this is only his fourth feature-length project. Unknown is infinitely better than House of Wax, but it fails to be anything more than your stereotypical action flick.
Dr. Martin Harris, played by Liam Neeson (After.Life), is on a business trip in Germany when a taxi accident puts him in a coma. When he regains consciousness he discovers that another Dr. Martin Harris has replaced him and nobody, not even his wife, realizes the switch. With no identification and only the help of a young woman, Dr. Harris must prove his identity.
Rounding out the cast are Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds), January Jones (Mad Men), and Aidan Quinn (Jonah Hex). Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger are the shining lights in an otherwise bleak and uninteresting acting landscape. January Jones did not turn in a motivated performance. Her character was incredibly flat and wooden. If Jaume Collet-Serra wanted somebody who was able to match January Jones’ performance, they made the right choice with Aidan Quinn. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot to say as far as the acting goes.
Unknown is a straight-out-of-the-box action film in every regard. Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it something worth going to the theater for? No. Everything from the direction to the acting and music are done in the cliché action-movie style. Juame Collet-Serra definitely does not try to reinvent anything here. Unknown falls into the category between mildly entertaining and mundane. If you’re looking for something to pass the time you could certainly do worse than Unknown, but if you’re looking for an action film to blow your mind you may want to look elsewhere.