*1/2 (out of four)
After a four-day coma Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) can’t remember much other than taking a shower with his wife, Liz, which isn’t so bad since she’s played by January Jones. The trouble is that Liz doesn’t recognize him anymore and another man (Aidan Quinn) claims to be the real Dr. Martin Harris, which leads to what’s surely the biggest-ever mix-up at a Berlin biotechnical summit.
The buzz: Lately Neeson’s no stranger to major trouble in Europe (“Taken”) or thrillers that stretch credibility like a rubber band wrapped around the equator (“The Next Three Days”). In “Unknown,” which is based on the novel “Out of My Head,” the question is only if the 58-year-old actor will be another veteran badass or just an intellectual at the center of a conspiracy. Or both?
The verdict: Perhaps there’s a place in the world where cabbies look like Diane Kruger, who plays the driver of the cab that tumbles off a bridge and puts Martin in a coma. Maybe viewers won’t mind when Jones speaks like she’s trying to remember her lines or when a creepy scenario continuously turns funny, such as when the two Martins speak in unison. What undoubtedly matters is the way “Unknown” twists a mystery into such nonsensical idiocy that the movie should be used in labs to monitor brain activity as it moves from curious to bored to annoyed.
Did you know? Martin indicates that women are brave to marry scientists. Consider what other professions (scientist’s assistant?) you’d find even less desirable for a spouse.