The premise sounds a little familiar: Liam Neeson goes to Europe and loses his mind. But unlike the 2009 guilty pleasure that was Taken, Neeson isn't on a rage-fuelled rampage to retrieve his kidnapped daughter, offing the bad guys without fear or favour – or restraint. Unknown is a different kind of action-thriller and Neeson's character has literally lost his mind.
Actually, Neeson knows exactly who he is. He's Doctor Martin Harris, in Berlin with his wife, Liz (January Jones), to attend a conference. It's his identity he's lost. Following a car crash which sees the taxi he's riding in plunge into an icy river, he wakes in hospital four days later to find that his wife seems to have forgotten him. She has a husband, Doctor Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn), and has never seen this other man before.
Dazed and confused, Harris enlists the help of Gina (Diane Kruger), the taxi driver who drove him into the river and then pulled him out, and an ex-Stasi officer (Bruno Ganz) to discover just who he is, why he's in Berlin and what's up with his wife.
Jaume Collett-Serra's film takes a little long to get going but then the bad guys arrive, people start dieing, and Martin and Gina are running and driving all over Berlin. FYI If Diane Kruger happens to be in your taxi, take another.
I won't reveal the twist (which you may or may not guess at) that brings Martin Harris's identity into focus, needless to say we've been this way before (and in far more capable hands), and your suspension of disbelief is mandatory. It's not all bad, helped greatly by the presence of Neeson.
But remember when Liam Neeson was a serious Oscar-nominated actor? He still does the occasional dramatic role (Five Minutes Of Heaven and Chloe most recently), but has had the most impact lately in the action arena; last year's The A-Team and the aforementioned Taken (not to mention pay cheque roles in Clash of the Titans and the Chronicles of Narnia).
There's no denying he can do bad ass, and do it well, but some of the awful dialogue he's saddled with here surely is beneath him? Here's hoping the real Liam Neeson comes to his senses soon.