Year: 2011
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Jaume Collet Serra
Writer: Oliver Butcher/Stephen Cornwell
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones, Bruno Ganz, Frank Langella, Aidan Quinn

I'm seeing more films lately that I can't help but think of as 'Hitchcockian', where we start with the mystery already in motion and the protagonist has to figure it out himself, the film giving us only his point of view as he does so.

There's also been a lot of press around recently about how – with Arnie, Bruce and Sly now museum pieces – Neeson is filling the void as this century's action man. A lot of film fans find him more human and vulnerable than the indestructible Austrian Oak and his peers used to seem but to me he's always just on the wrong side of hammy. He had me fooled for a long time because of the accent – even his performance in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace seemed good.

But he's done too many corny roles and he overplays it more each time. His hairy gay knight garb as Zeus in Clash of the Titans was hysterical, and when he turns to extort 'release the Kraken' in his best shouty, godlike fashion I could hardly hold my sides in.

So this film suffers somewhat from having his overstated expression and delivery too front and centre for too long, even if the plot will keep you interested as it unravels.

It's a high concept hook as he travels to Berlin with his wife for a medical conference. While chasing the taxi containing his briefcase after he forgets it at the airport, his own cab crashes through a bridge barrier and plunges into the freezing river. When he wakes up weeks later and returns to his wife, not only does she not have a clue who he is but there's another man in his place, and all the evidence seems to point to him being crazy.

There's also a fearsome killer on his trail, so Martin goes on the lam and tracks down the taxi driver who was with him (Kruger) and an enigmatic former Stasi private detective (Ganz, now much more famous for a million YouTube Downfall parodies than any film work) to get to the bottom of it.

The best part of the film is that it doesn't blow its wad too early. It introduces new characters and twists the conundrum further all the way through, making sure you don't really have enough time to sort it all out before you get the next clue.

The action is breakneck and a few scenes are so destructive they involve CGI (slightly ropey at times), but there's enough story to complement it. And here's a clue that will intrigue you if you're trying to decide whether to watch it – a large aspect of the story is shared with Schwarzenegger's Total Recall .

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