Posted in 2000-2009, Film Review

Taken (2008)

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Taken – Film Review

Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

Director: Pierre Morel

Synopsis: When Bryan Mills (Neeson) a retired CIA agent finds out his daughter has been kidnapped half way across the world, he utilises all the resources he can to try and rescue her, before it is too late.

Review: If you have kids, chances are high that those kids are pretty special and important to you, or if you’re a kid who’s loved by your folks. So if you found out your child who had gone travelling around the world, had been kidnapped, you’d probably get in contact with the government and hope they are in a position to do something about it, and hope and pray for your child’s safe return. Well not for Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative who, decides to use all of his skills over his career and pools together all of his resources in a bid to rescue his beloved daughter from some nasty folks who have sinister plans for her.

With a script written by Leon director Luc Besson, and Robert Mark Kamen, our story revolves around Mills, his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and his estranged wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and after agreeing to let her go travelling, Bryan finds himself in a race against time to get her back after she has been kidnapped, before he will never find her ever again. The film is slow to get out of the blocks, but it does ensure there is character development. You do understand the emotion Bryan has for his daughter, but is very reluctant to let her go, thus straining his relationship not only with his daughter and also his already estranged wife.

Once Bryan lands in Paris, after he has had the galling experience of hearing his daughter’s kidnapping, the film picks really begins to pick up. Offering  plenty of very intense action sequences that are, for the most part, very well handled. The camera-work is fast and the scenes are cut very quickly, particularly during the many chase sequences that are packed throughout this film. As Bryan pummels bad guy after bad guy and will stop at nothing to get her back, and that means killing as many bad guys as possible. It is insanely fun to watch Neeson be a complete badass and he totally convinces as an action movie star.

There are moments to allow the audience to catch their breath, and of course there is Neeson’s now famous line which has been parodied to death but it’s still enthralling viewing.  It’s a simple plot and for sure is a little bit silly at times, but seeing Neeson beat the shit out of some bad guys, who are admittedly maybe a little too stereotypical, is just very enjoyable to watch. There is one torture scene that has caused a bit of controversy for its brutality. But nevertheless, Taken is pulsating action done right in just about every way possible, if perhaps just a little too short at 94 minutes.

 A thrilling ride in which Neeson reinvented his career as a badass action movie star with some top notch action scenes, and one very memorable line of dialogue. 


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