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Review: Unknown (2011)

Director: | 113 minutes | , , thriller | Actors: , , , , , , , Stipe Erceg, Karl Markovics, , Sanny Van Heteren, Rainer Bock, , ,

The ingredients of ‘Unknown’ are Hitchcock-worthy: the arena is Berlin, suitcases are forgotten, identities distorted, there is a ‘MacGuffin’ present, a blonde behaving strangely, and a fatal mistake is made. Unfortunately, the latter could never have been the intention of the makers. That error pertains to the plot itself. That’s an old-fashioned case of making things difficult, where it can be done easily. If Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) and his wife Liz (January Jones) arrive at their Berlin hotel, Harris discovers that his suitcase has been left behind at the airport. She checks in, he goes to collect the suitcase. On the way back, his taxi has an accident and he falls into a coma. Days later when Harris sees his wife again – after a wooden, drawn-out struggle with hotel security – she no longer recognizes him. In fact, his entire identity has been taken over; alongside Liz, another Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn). The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process gets rid of poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. his entire identity has been taken over; alongside Liz, another Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn). The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process kills poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. his entire identity has been taken over; alongside Liz, another Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn). The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process gets rid of poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. alongside Liz, another Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn). The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process gets rid of poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. alongside Liz, another Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn). The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process gets rid of poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process gets rid of poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. The ‘real’ Martin Harris understands that there must be more to this and suspects that his wife is somehow forced to play the game. He only realizes that this play is deadly serious when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital and in the process gets rid of poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. he only realizes when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital, eliminating poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. he only realizes when a man tries to kidnap him from the hospital, eliminating poor ‘Schwester’ Gretchen (her acting gave every reason to do so, by the way). The only one who is willing and able to help him from that moment on is Gina (Diane Kruger), the driver of the crashed taxi. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin. She struggles with identity in her own way: where Martin Harris tries to prove his, she tries to hide hers. She once fled Bosnia and is illegally staying in the German melting pot Berlin.

‘Unknown’ could give you satisfaction mainly in retrospect. Ultimately, however, the story is too implausible and its imagination too inefficient and rough to really get carried away. If you pay close attention, you will already have the most important punch line after a few minutes. And those who are sleeping will receive all the other clous on a silver platter. When a hand steals a stitch object, that hand is turned too emphatically towards the camera. If a USB stick is inserted into a laptop, the zipper of the laptop bag remains slightly open, so that we can clearly see the light. And when the script calls for a murder to be prevented, equip the murderer not with a gun (bang, done), but with a knife (mess). Maybe it’s squats to , by whom director Collet-Serra was clearly inspired. Be sure to see the moment when Liz Harris (seen from the back) enters a museum via a staircase. She’s the only peroxide blonde lady in a mass of brown hair, gray stones, and blue coats: is back. Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger try to make the most of their roles together, but that’s about it. Every now and then the sentences that must be uttered are crooked (“Bressler wants to end world hunger.”) but that’s about it. Every now and then the sentences that have to be uttered are crooked (“Bressler wants to end world hunger.”) but that’s about it. Every now and then the sentences that have to be uttered are crooked (“Bressler wants to end world hunger.”)

Fortunately Bruno Ganz is still there. Not only in his role as former Stasi agent Ernst Jürgen does he live in his own world. He is virtually the only one who does not let the weak dialogues and melodramatic actions stop him from creating an intriguing character. Ganz adds a dimension, where the rest is limited by a web of one-dimensionality. Another added value is, to some extent, the end of Martin Harris’ quest for his identity. It is a curious variation on the well-known tune of the man who loses his memory and then tries to find himself again. It is a pity that nothing better is done with that in ‘Unknown’.

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