Thursday, March 17, 2011
Starring Liam Neeson as Dr Martin Harris, and January Jones as his wife, this thriller is set in Berlin. It's about a man who is speaking at a global event, but is involved in a taxi accident and loses his memory. After a short stay in hospital, he returns to the hotel only to find that his wife doesn't recognise him, and there is another Dr Martin Harris (nice to see you again, Aidan Quinn) in his place. The only person he can rely on to help him find the truth is the very trusting illegal alien taxi driver Gina (luminous Diane Kruger) who's been through enough carnage in her life already thank you very much. There are some stellar supporting roles, the mighty Bruno Gantz (Downfall)as Ernst Jurgen, an ex cold war spy, and Karl Markovics (The Counterfeiters) as the Dr's Dr. Frank Langella, gloriously sinister as usual pops up toward the end as well. It's really refreshing to see a film set in a country other than the United States. I love the USA, don't get me wrong, but it adds another unfamiliar dimension to the film. Neeson is his usual likeable self, although he's supposed to be American, and it's impossible for him to lose that delightfully seductive Irish lilt. Diane Kruger just lights up the screen whenever she's in a scene. January Jones did a remarkable impression of a Stepford wife. Wooden and icy, her unemotional turn was enough to rival that of Nicole Kidman. She sticks out like a sore thumb in this cast of heavy weights. I also find it fascinating that a man of Neeson's age is cast in a very physical role as an action man, whilst it's said that women in their 50s find it hard to get any type of role in Hollywood. Not complaining, just observing. Although it's a formulaic thriller, it's great fun, with enough twists to keep you interested and wonder what the heck is going on, there are probably enough loose ends to make a nice warm jumper for a German Winter. UNKNOWN: The real unknown is the answer to the question, would Gina have been so trusting if the role of Martin was played by, say, Danny DeVito? 6/10.