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Taken

A movie directed by Pierre Morel

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Really Good Movie

  • Nov 23, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Liam Neeson is one of those actors that although you will admire their work, Taken is a movie you could never expect them to be the lead in. It's a full blown action movie that challenges the 56 year old and his acting ability to appear cool. The film has its drawbacks, but they are all massively outweighed by the better parts of the film.

The film focuses around retired spy Bryan Mills (Neeson) whos daughter is kidnapped whilst on a trip to Paris with her close friend. He's a man who wasn't there for a lot of his daughters life due to his job, but is trying to make up for lost time with overprotective, suffocating fathering. Kim (Maggie Grace) and her friend are kidnapped by Albanian human traffickers whilst Bryan is on the phone to Kim. He tells her not to be scared and he will find her, he also tells the Albanian kidnapper who taunts Bryan on the phone. This leads into a series of events where Bryan is investigating the human traffickers in France using vigilante methods, but this is at the displeasure of the French authorities and an old friend of Bryans who simply want him out of France. He promises his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janseen, who quite frankly creeps me out) that he will return her safe and sound, at any cost but the only drawback is he has 96 hours.

This is a really good and fast paced action movies that has some excellent chase and combat scenes. Neeson seems to hold his own well and can display some excellent ability when it comes to those action scenes (although I'm sure a stunt double was cleverly placed in those scenes). Some of the dialogue is quite cringe worthy especially when Neesons character is on the phone to the kidnapper and he tells him that he has experience and he will be coming for them. It's something very cliché and annoying in some respects but quite cool in another. The other gripe I had about it was the accent of Neeson. I'm not sure where his character was meant to hail from but it certainly wasn't American born and bred, or at least I hope not. Neeson's a good actor but he really needs to work on his American accent because it just destroys any role he's in when he's meant to be an American but his Irish accent clearly shines through.

It's a great film overall though and I would strongly recommend it to any action movie fan. He's good in this role, but I can't see him doing another role like this ever again as although he held his own, he seemed at times to be quite uncomfortable in what he was doing. The supporting cast are OK but nothing to shout about, the story is well done and seems to be quite intelligent in what it's talking about when on the subject of human trafficking. But what do I know, maybe this is the most inconsistent movie I've ever seen. If it is then it certainly hid it well. I just have one request to any future movie makers, please don't cast Famke Janseen, she's just weird.

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More Taken (2008) reviews
Quick Tip by . April 03, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
Taken is good as a popcorn flick, but my main beef with this movie lies in the fact that for this type of movie, a PG-13 rating held back a lot of potential carnage that would be right at home with it.  Even with that taken into account, it was fun to see Liam Neeson kick a ton of ass and kill tons of heinous people.      As stated earlier, this is good popcorn entertainment, but if you want superior pieces of fiction dealing with the Eastern European human trafficking …
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
I saw this again during Father's Day--I have to say that this has one of the best lines ever in movies. If a father is so calm and reserved during a stressful situation, when he says that he will find you, bad guys better listen--that means he means it...and he can.      Great Father's Day movie! see full review here.                              &n …
review by . May 12, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Thriller
Parents, if you're tempted to allow your teenagers to travel on their own to Europe, watch Taken before you decide. Today's Europe is a far cry from the romantic picture that many Americans still imagine. Bad things can and do happen to naive teens arriving for an adventure. Having visited France, the setting for Taken, several times in the past decade, I can say firsthand that this country has been inundated with emigres from eastern Europe, and not all of them are innocents in search of …
review by . February 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
movie poster
I've always liked Luc Besson. His films usually have a lot of cool attitude but still touches on realism (ok, maybe not "The Transporter") in storytelling and it is always a delight to see him take on a popcorn action thriller. His past projects include "District 13", my personal favorite "Kiss of the Dragon" with Jet Li, "High Tension" and "Danny the Dog" (again with Jet Li). Besson co-writes and Pierre Morel directs in this latest action thriller …
Quick Tip by . April 25, 2010
I don't know if I believed a minute of it or will remember it in a month, but it was darned good in-the-moment thrills!!
review by . November 12, 2009
   Neeson is excellent as a government operative who is divorced and is still trying to make amends to his teenage daughter for not being there for her during many of her formative years. He is very protective for her because of his training Thus he is extremely adverse to his daughter going with a friend to Paris for a vacation.       At first he totally refuses to give her permission but is pressure by both his daughter and ex-wife to sign the permission slip. Of …
review by . June 16, 2009
Taken Poster
Normally, I wouldn't think of Liam Neeson as an "action star", but some of his more recent films have made me question that a just a little bit.  He played Batmans nemesis Henri Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins and later in 2010 he is going to be playing Zeus in Clash of the Titans.  Despite these roles though, I still wouldn't classify Neeson as an action hero, but when he needs to be, he sure can play one and that is exactly what he does in Taken.  I was really impressed with …
review by . December 12, 2009
Liam Neeson becomes a one man avenging angel when his daughter is taken by sex slave traders in Paris during the 21st century .    For 20 minutes we establish Neeson as a spook + who loves his daughter but was never there, his wife is has remarried a very rich man and he can't compete with him. The daughter wants to take a trip overseas with a friend, her father objects but relents with conditions that she ignores.    Lucky for her she keeps the phone he gave …
review by . December 07, 2009
There are literally thousands upon thousands of films to watch these days; films in any genre that you can possible think of. Some of these films are great films, some are horrible and some are horrible and great at the same time. It really all depends upon you mood and what you want to watch at any given time. Now I normally like romantic comedies or films such as The Princess Bride. But that being said, I also like a mixture in the type of movies I watch. I do not like a complete steady diet of …
review by . December 06, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a retired and divorced ex-spy, who now lives only for his estranged daughter. The trouble is, while she seems happy enough to see him when he manages to meet her, usually she won't give him the time of day. She's got all she wants from her enormously wealthy stepfather, and all she wants from her real father is permission to go to Paris. He's reluctant because, as an ex-spy, I guess, he knows that Europe can be much more dangerous than most people think, especially for …
About the reviewer
Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #93
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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What could be a skillful but ordinary action flick gets a surprising emotional heft from the presence of Liam Neeson as the hero. Bryan Mills (Neeson) has given up his career as a spy to form a relationship with his estranged teenage daughter--but when, on a trip to Paris, she's kidnapped by slavers, Mills uses all his connections and skills to turn the city of lights upside down and rescue her. Like most of the movies that writer/producer Luc Besson has a hand in (such asLa Femme Nikita,The Transporter,Unleashed, and many other French action movies),Takendrips with lurid violence (a bit toned-down to get a PG-13 rating, but there's still plenty of it), deranged sentimentality, and stereotypes of all kinds. But this doesn't stop his movies from being effective thrill-rides, andTakenis no exception.Takenpays just enough attention to the illusion of procedure--making it seem like Mills knows all the right steps to track down his daughter--that the movie cheerfully seduces your suspension of disbelief, despite many plot holes and scenes where Mills doesn't get scratched despite bullets flying in all directions or pretends to be a French policeman despite not speaking French or even adopting a French accent. What holds it all together is Neeson; his gravitas and emotional availability make his character--the usual action fantasy of impossible competence and righteous fury--somehow seem real and relatable.--Bret Fetzer

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Director: Pierre Morel
DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
Runtime: 91 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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