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Taken

A movie directed by Pierre Morel

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Thriller

  • May 12, 2011
Rating:
+3
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 freedom. Organized crime has assumed a new face with new mobsters, and in some cases, the newcomers are more ruthless than the natives. The plot of Taken centers upon a former CIA agent Bryan Mills, portrayed by Liam Neeson, whose daughter is off on a European jaunt, only to be victimized by Albanians eager to sell her virginal charms to the highest bidder. Film maker Luc Besson, whose rep was made by such action thrillers as La Femme Nikita, ramps up the tension by having the abduction take place during a phone call from father to daughter, during which he coaches her to feed him vital info about the thugs. When one of them picks up the cellphone, Mills warns them to release his daughter or face his considerable, professional wrath. Of course, they blow off his warning. But two days later, he's onto them, and never, ever lets go. Neeson displays his physical side, literally mowing down anyone who stands in his way with an arsenal of awesome martial arts moves and laser-eyed shooting ability. Keep in mind that I normally abhor films with brutal scenes of torture and endless chase scenes. I've recently read a lot, however, about sex trafficking, and have to admit that I was rooting for Mills to turn up the electricity and take out those SOB's. Much of the action is totally implausible, but the crime is so heinous that I don't care. Neeson brings a knife edged, single minded, merciless sense of purpose to this role, and while the daughter and her mother are mindless social twits, it's hard not to pull for him every hard-won, a** kicking step of the way.
Thriller Thriller

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May 22, 2011
Great review
 
May 12, 2011
Nice review! I liked this one quite a bit myself. "Unknown" was also a fun watch....thanks!
 
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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 . 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 …
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 course the actual …
About the reviewer
Linda ()
Ranked #54
After 21 years as a school psychologist, I now work part-time at two local historical museums, giving tours and teaching special programs. This leaves me more time to enjoy my little grandchildren, and … 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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