When did Liam Neeson become the best action star there is? I will take Neeson's frazzled, frenetic, yet-I-kick-major-ass when it comes down to it over your typical sculpted Vin Diesel action hero any day. Why? I think because Neeson has an everyday type of guy appearance to him, it lends more to the action. Like, "wow, look at this totally un-ripped dude out there beating some spy ass." Call it the Gene Hackman cool guy factor. Maybe the Bruce Willis cool guy factor. I like heroes that remind me, of, well, me. Nah, I can't even go that far. Any of the dudes I just mentioned make me look like Fat Albert.
In Unknown, Neeson plays the lead guy who is on a trip to Germany with his wife (super hot psycho-bitch-player January Jones) , when one thing leads to another, he finds himself taxi that runs a ledge and is plummeting into an icy cold river. He is saved by his super hot taxi driver (Diane Kruger). He is out of it for a few days and then he decides to go to the conference and find his wife (much like any normal dude would do). Problem is when he arrives at the hotel his wife doesn't remember anything about him. He is unknown to her. Did I mention she has a new husband with his name?
Well, luckily he has the help of the super hot taxi driver. He slowly begins to figure out something. I suppose I have to give it away at this point but you'll live. Turns out Mr. Unknown was actually an assassin paid to act like a doctor attending a medical conference in Germany. It was part of really sophisticated plan to fit into the surroundings. The man with his wife, who is really not his wife at all, but another assassin, is merely his replacement. The idea is to explode a bomb making it look like a rich Arab was the intended target. Instead, the real target is another douche bag who can cure world hunger with new spin on corn. Pretty damn slick.
The movie is not without its holes. I mean there is only so much I can buy into about this plot without laughing a little bit. I mean why go to all the trouble of training people to fit in to such an extent. Can't the bad guys find an easier way to plant a bomb? And what a reversal of stereotypes - westerners plotting the death of Arabs?
Still, there was way more to like than dislike: good action scenes, gritty and grimy European locales, plus the somewhat touching suicide of a an aging, ex-East German spy, lend Unknown a good deal of depth. I also have to say January Jones plays the best beautiful super hot, yet complete bitch, you could imagine. Picture her psycho Betty but only an assassin. If they ever remake Mommy Dearest again, January Jones should play the lead.
Unknown is generally a pretty darn good flick in most aspects. However, the action scenes may be a bit on the commonplace side and may possibly drag on too long for it be an Ace. The flick is also lacking any signature scene or action sequence to make it really something beyond a very good thriller. If we had a rating between a Queen and King, I would give it that. Since we don't, I will deal it a King, though it should be noted it is closer to a Queen, than an Ace. Then again, aren't we all?