Review: Taken


What if a super spy like Jason Bourne in his middle-aged years got into a situation where his daughter is kidnapped by illegal human traffickers? The result of that high concept is Pierre Morrel's Taken, a swift, compact French action thriller that does a devious number on the kidnapping story genre with the slickness and smarts of deadly espionage. The kidnapping villains clearly have no idea what kind of father they are dealing with.


As the movie opens, the hero of the story, a divorced ex-CIA operative named Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), is already paranoid about his 17-year-old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) traveling to Paris for the first time with only one other friend, Amanda (Katie Cassidy). After initially refusing to sign consent for her to travel as a minor without parental supervision, he reluctantly agrees thinking that this may be his chance to bond with his estranged daughter since he has moved back closer to his daughter in London, although she has told more than a few lies to be able to slide past Bryan's seemingly overbearing paranoid assumptions. Then, when she arrives in Paris and while on the phone with her, he overhears her being taken away by some group of men.


The initial introductions of Bryan attempting to reconnect with his daughter and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), who is now married to Stuart (Xander Berkeley) but still mad at him for sacrificing his family for his covert job are no doubt a little bit hokey. But the movie quickly shows that it means business once Bryan gives his ultimatum to a kidnapper on the phone he overhears, assuredly warning them that he will find and kill them with all the skills he has acquired. As he quickly hears from a spy analyst friend, Sam (Leland Orser) that the kidnapper is part of a sex trade trafficking mob, he finds he has only 96 hours to find his daughter or else she will likely never be found.


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Comments

3 comments

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Jan 27, 2009 8:39AM EST

This was a terrible movie. It was no more than a better acted Steven Seagal movie.It should debut on TBS instead of in the theaters

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Jan 27, 2009 2:58PM EST

It really wasn't very good at all, and I like Liam Neeson alot as an actor. For one of the few times that we got the movie months before the Yanks, so it wasn't spoiled, I would have preferred the spoiling and have just given it a miss.

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Jul 23, 2009 12:54PM EDT

This is the best movie since Boondock Saints. Possibly better. It is better than Hobbits fitting orcs, emo Jedi Knights and Jokers. Fathers who would do anything to ensure their child's safety instead of sitting on the side lines crying will love this movie. It is the will of a father taking on France to save his child.
There are no wire tricks, only one explosion, no nudity, no love triangle, only a couple of curse words, and tons of ass kicking. It is great that I don't have to watch a movie that feigns intelligence to impress the typical mentally challenged movie watcher in our society. There are no hidden agendas for liberals or conservatives to try and educate the supposed "stupid unwashed masses". It is just pure win.
I use this movie as a gauge. If you don't like it then I want nothing to do with you. Enjoy your performance art and retarded movies like Signs while you look down your nose at the rest of us who "just don't get it".

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