An idiotic amnesiac action thriller takes a dive off the deep end on streaming


Liam Neeson’s unexpected late-career reinvention turned the veteran character actor into cinema’s most popular badass overnight, but one of the other major beneficiaries of the grizzled star’s renaissance was director Jaume-Collet Serra, who partnered with Neeson for the first time on 2011’s Unknown.

The duo proved themselves perfect partners when it came to delivering undemanding entertainment that could draw in a crowd, with their maiden collaboration netting $136 million at the box office to spawn a beautiful friendship and creative partnership that continued through Non-Stop, Run All Night, and The Commuter.

via Warner Bros.

Unknown dropped an unwitting Neeson into the middle of a conspiracy he couldn’t comprehend, with his unassuming doctor waking up after a car accident to discover that not only does his wife have no idea who he is, but another man is living his life, all while mysterious hired killers seek to make sure that he shuffles off his mortal coil for good this time.

The plot developments are utterly ludicrous, and while there’s some fun to be had along the way, the muted critical reception and shoulder-shrugging reception from audiences underlines that Unknown wasted a perfectly good blast of silliness on a twisting and turning potboiler that took itself far too seriously.

Not that it’s hampered the film’s enduring reputation on streaming, though, with FlixPatrol outing Unknown as one of the top-viewed titles on the Chili most-watched ranks. Neeson and Collet-Serra have been better since, but the elder statesmen of ass-kicking hasn’t let his crown slip among the on-demand crowds.

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