In a lot of respects, UNKNOWN could be considered something of a sequel, or at least a sister film, to TAKEN. Neeson is on a mission and while on said mission many faces will be punched and asses will be kicked. The plots surrounding the action beats are different, but the real reason to watch the movie is the same, and in that respect, UNKNOWN delivers.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra uses some of the atmospheric techniques he garnered from movies like ORPHAN and HOUSE OF WAX to heighten the central mystery and then injects some decent action sequences. The fighting is on par with other similar modern films—slickly choreographed and occasionally brutal (as much as PG-13 can get you), but UNKNOWN does have some of the best car chases I’ve seen this year. Everything is done practically with precision stunt work and impressive feats. There is plenty of ass whooping to be had, but it is a colder movie on an emotional scale. While TAKEN centered on the relatable drive of a father looking for his daughter, UNKNOWN has to deal with the more cliché “man with amnesia” plot, which makes Neeson’s character fairly one-note throughout. (His enigmatic and emotionless wife does suit January Jones and her acting abilities though.)
The mystery at the heart of the movie, while a wee bit predictable, is pretty involving and I was satisfied with the payoff. The ending didn't feel like it pulled too many punches or required too much suspension of disbelief within the world it had set up. Plus, it led to even more Liam Neeson action in the finale.
Can’t complain about that.
Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero (4:33): Cast and crew gush about Neeson as an actor and newfound action star, as well as the production in general.
UNKNOWN: What is Known? (4:24): A more generic BTS featurette that I’m pretty sure reuses some of the disc’s other extra.
A DVD and Digital Copy is also included.
Extra Tidbit: The film is based on the 2003 French novel “Out of My Head.”