Film Review – Unknown
The main insult I’ve seen thrown at Unknown in the reviews I managed to read before heading into the theater to see it for myself was that the film is implausible. Unknown does require a very heavy suspension of disbelief but I don’t think that the plotline is anymore ludicrous than any other entry in the genre. Maybe those who find fault with the composition have the same qualms with Taken, although that film seems to enjoy a level of love that shoots that theory right out of the water. I don’t have a problem with Unknown, other than the fact that because of the level of absurdity in the plot the finale seems deflated and without a real sense of closure because the tone shift once the big reveal happens is so severe that any previous assumptions about how things would wrap up are tossed out the window.
I give Unknown major credit for keeping me guessing. The one thing that would have sunk this film entirely would be if I had been able to figure it out before the characters did. The twist is rather unexpected and therein lies a bit of the problem for some of the viewers who feel like the explaination to Mr. Neeson’s problems comes off as being from out of left field. I do agree that there was nothing previously indicated, no clue left that would point the viewer in this direction but the way it plays out is no less valid than whatever the viewer may have anticipated.
The only real problems I have with the film is the style of the action beats which are mostly obscured and dizzying. The phenomenon of the skakey-cam needs to go away sooner rather than later. I could tell that there was some decent car chase and fight choreography but that work was lost in the frenetic editing of the scenes. It doesn’t torpedo the movie entirely but it does take the viewer out of the action as they try to figure out what the hell is going on at certain points.
In the end, it’s not the mess some people make it out to be but neither is it the worthy successor to Taken that others hoped it would be.