Liam Neeson's 'Unkown' Is reminiscent Of 'Taken'

If you've seen Taken, where Liam Neeson played a relentless berserker, who terrorized France looking for his kidnapped daughter, then there's something familiar about Unknown. Neeson's character is in Berlin, this time worried about his wife, not his child. It's another story that allows Neeson to lose his temper and take on the world.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

If you live in a city with movie billboards, you've likely seen Liam Neeson's face on of them. He's the star of the big movie of this week, "Unknown."

Our film critic Kenneth Turan has a review.

KENNETH TURAN: "Unknown" is a nifty international thriller of the what-if variety. What if you and your wife fly to a conference in Berlin and you have a car accident so bad it puts you in a coma? Once you awake, what if everyone you think you know says they've never seen you? Here's what happens when biologist Martin Harris tries to say hello to his wife.

(Soundbite of movie, "Unknown")

Ms. JANUARY JONES (Actor): (as Elizabeth Harris) Oh, you must have me confused with someone else.

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Mr. LIAM NEESON (Actor): (as Dr. Martin Harris) Elizabeth, it's me, Martin, your husband.

Ms. JONES: (as Elizabeth Harris) This is a misunderstanding. I don't know this man. This is my husband.

TURAN: With another man insisting he's Martin Harris, the real Martin Harris is on his own as he struggles to prove who he is. Now, an ordinary individual might have trouble in that situation, but "Unknown" doesn't have anyone average as the beleaguered biologist. It has Liam Neeson, the star of 2009's "Taken," and one of the most naturally forceful actors on the contemporary scene.

If you've seen "Taken," where Neeson played a relentless berserker who terrorized all of France looking for his kidnapped daughter, there's something definitely familiar about "Unknown." Neeson's character is in Berlin, not Paris. He's worried about his wife, not his child, but this is simply another story that allows Neeson to lose his temper and take on the world.

(Soundbite of movie, "Unknown")

Mr. NEESON: (as Dr. Martin Harris) Where is he?

Ms. DIANE KRUGER (Actor): (as Gina) I can't see him.

TURAN: Our guy may be down, but he is far from out. Determined as only Neeson's characters can be determined, he prowls Berlin like a lone wolf, trying to find out what's going on and why people are trying to kill him.

Most of all, the job gets done in typical Liam Neeson fashion, because the big galoot simply won't be denied. As "Taken" also demonstrated, it's a given that the road will be twisty and long, but those who bet against Liam Neeson's characters always live - and sometimes die - to regret it.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: Ken Turan won't be denied. He reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and the Los Angeles Times.

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INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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