'Taken' is a guilty-pleasure ride

A great deal of the allure in "Taken" comes from the wild juxtaposition of its premise: the idea of Liam Neeson — esteemed, acclaimed, 56-year-old Liam Neeson — kicking all kinds of butt in a Euro B-revenge thriller.

Yes, Pierre Morel's filmmoves with breathlessly incessant fluidity and speed; that's a given from the director of the French action flick "District B13," working from a script co-written by Luc Besson, for whom this sort of trashy adventure is his baguette and butter. But cast someone you've never heard of in the lead role — someone who didn't receive an Oscar nomination for playing Oskar Schindler, for example — and it might not have worked nearly so well. Read more ...


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