Now that Harrison Ford has graciously stepped aside, let's look at the new model currently at the center of these give-me-back-my-family thrillers. Liam Neeson is a far more likable brow-furrower than Han Solo ever was. He's softer and more rueful, and even if you weren't on-team for Schindler's List, the palpable romantic confusion that Neeson brought to a project like Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives is impressive. In Unknown, the towering Irishman plays a brainy American doctor sent to Berlin to give a presentation. Call it a sign of impending doom that his wife is played by Mad Men's perpetually dour January Jones; his taxi goes off a bridge and, emerging from a coma a few days later, he's recognized by no one, least of all his ice queen.
You will either be the kind of person who's fine with the subsequent Kafka-esque nonsense---which, it must be said, includes both Bruno Ganz and Frank Langella---or you'll hit the brakes. Frankly, I don't want to live in a world devoid of such robust Hollywood silliness. Unknown takes place in a wintry Europe where hotcha babes like Inglourious Basterds's Diane Kruger can work as cabbies, and then be called upon as helpful arm candy for the hero. The Cold War still simmers in this movie, and naturally, no more should be revealed about the plot lest we ruin a key pleasure (the only pleasure?), that of your own constantly evolving stupefaction. We're spun through parking garages, dance clubs and good old-fashioned car chases; Unknown is probably the movie The Tourist wanted to be, if it had a pulse. Its sheer momentum makes Neeson and Kruger more attractive than even Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
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Cast and crew