The surprise hit Taken, from 2008, contained a number of red meat pleasures, but chief among them was Liam Neeson’s reinvention as an action hero, turning his trademark wounded brusqueness and gentle-giant physique towards new, head-clunking avenues. Despite an ad campaign that makes it appear to be a direct action-packed continuation of that earlier film, Unknown proves to be a somewhat different creature–a sleek mystery that occasionally gives in to temptation and lets its hulking star call down the righteous thunder. Based on a novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert, the story follows a mild-mannered botanist in Berlin with his wife (Mad Men’s January Jones) for a mysterious scientific conference. After a freak car accident, he wakes up in the hospital with scrambled memories, missing identification, and–most ominously–someone else claiming to be him.

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Year: 2010
Release Date: May 17, 2011
Run time: 91 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: DTS HD MA lossless 2.0 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD / 1 DVD
Region: 1

Doctor Martin Harris and his wife arrive in Berlin to give a lecture at an Agriculture Conference. Arriving at the hotel where he is to give his lecture, Martin realizes he had left his brief case at the airport. Martin quickly hopes in the first taxi he sees to retrieve the brief case. On the way back to the airport Martin is involved in car accident. Martin awakens four days later with little recollection of what had happened to him. Martin heads back to the hotel to rejoin his wife to find that someone else had taken his identity. Martin now must prove who he is and unravel the mystery of what had happen and why someone has stolen his identity. Martin recruits the taxi driver that saved his life in their accident and starts to unravel a story that has many twists and turns along the way.

The most disappointing about Unknown is the special features or I should say lack of special features. The one I am reviewing comes with a DVD/Digital Copy disc and two small featurettes (Liam Neeson: Known Action Star and Unknown: What is Known.). There is no real difference in the featurettes as they both run four and half minutes and talk mostly about the film’s star, Liam Neeson. Warner Brothers should have offered the viewer some deleted and alternate scenes and disc commentary. For the disc commentary I would have loved a director’s commentary and one with the stars of the film, especially Liam Neeson and the person who plays his replacement in the film Aidan Quinn.

Unknown is a well paced thriller. The main gripe both critics and patrons have of Unknown is that Unknown is not Taken 2, that is a good thing. In Taken, the plot and the story is laid out for you in the first thirty minutes of the film. For Unknown, the plot is paced throughout the movie and unlike Taken; Unknown has many twists and turns in the film. Unknown is well acted and paced phenomenally. If you go in expecting Taken, the viewer will be disappointed. If you go in with a clear mind, the viewer will be satisfied.
Movie Quality: 7/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2:40:1 aspect ratio. The images are clear defined. Each pore on all the thespians is seen with distinct clearness. Each hair follicle is shown with beauty and detail. Unknown’s video transfer will easily satisfy the biggest videophiles to the casual observer. Warner Brothers does a top notch transfer with Unknown that will in the end gratify the viewer.
Print Quality: 9/10

The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA l0ssless 5.1 mix. Sorting a beautiful DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround soundtrack, Unknown explodes onto blu-ray. The movie comes to life with its action scenes of car chases, one on one combat, to simple dialogue. No clouding in any scene nor is any dialogue muffled by music or drowned out by action sequences. Audiophiles will salivate.
Print Quality: 9/10

Special Features

  • Liam Neeson: Known Action Hero
  • Unknown: What is Known? [HD]

Special Features: 6/10

Final Thoughts

This maybe one of those movies you need to see multiple times to appreciate the movies true value. Overall this movie is highly recommended and both the movie and disc are four star entertainment.
Overall Rating: 6/10