Unknown

Unknown

*1/2

 

Based on that nifty theater-marquee Max’s View logo, I am supposed to be writing a column about movies.

Lately I have been writing about plenty of other topics: Egypt, cell phones, David Bowie – pretty much anything BUT movies.

I really enjoy the relaxing experience of sitting in the front row of my local theater with a box of chocolate cookie dough bites and watching a new movie.

However, this time of year it becomes a bit of a chore because the new films are awful. Oscar season is over, summer is months away, and Hollywood is taking the opportunity to dump its very worst pictures.

The big question for me is: when will the drought end? When will Hollywood throw us a bone and release a new film that isn’t complete garbage?

The answer: Unknown.

“Unknown” was the #1 movie in America in its opening weekend. That can only be due to a lack of competition because it really stinks.

“Unknown” is nothing but a half-baked rip-off of “The Bourne Identity.” It insulted my intelligence and tested my patience.

Liam Neeson – who has become a popular action hero somehow – stars as Dr. Martin Harris, a mild-mannered American scientist.

As the story begins, Martin and his lovely wife (played by “Mad Men”’s January Jones) have just arrived in Berlin (the one with the wall, not the mall) for a conference.

Martin accidentally misplaces his briefcase and has to take a taxi back to the airport to retrieve it. The cab crashes and Martin wakes up in the hospital days later, frantic and confused.

When he gets back to the hotel and greets his wife, she does not recognize him. Even worse, she has her husband by her side. HIS name is Dr. Martin Harris, and he has the credentials to prove it.

I admit it. I was hooked. I wanted to discover who stole Liam Neeson’s life, and why.

Unfortunately, the answer is completely ridiculous. [Spoiler Alert! If you are actually going to see this dud, please read no further].

It turns out that there is no Martin Harris. Liam Neeson and January Jones were never husband and wife: they are highly trained killers for hire. Their latest job was to go deep under cover in the science community in order to murder an important botanist.

Neeson’s scrambled mind was thinking things that were not real – he was remembering his character’s back-story. When Neeson’s character was incapacitated, a back-up killer took his place to complete the job.

The film’s big revelation is a terrible letdown. The truth is not intriguing. It is not believable. It is just stupid.

And even if the audience is willing to be charitable and accept the notion that Neeson’s character is so confused that he forgets everything about his real life, that still doesn’t explain how his entire personality changes. Neeson goes to sleep as a cold-blooded killer and wakes up as a Boy Scout.

Ridiculous. “Unknown” is nothing but a bad “Bourne Identity” rip-off. Please don’t see it.

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