January 30, 2009
Review - " Taken " (in Theaters) - By Roland Hansen
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Directed by Pierre Morel.
Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, and Olivier Rabourdin.
"Taken" is almost the perfect action film. There's exciting car chases, ample gunplay, knife fight, hand to hand combat
with torture, blood, and pain. All this with a body count that would make John Rambo proud. Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) is
like Jason Bourne on steriods. There's nothing lofty in the intentions of "Taken." The aspiration here was to make a simple,
straight-ahead action thriller. Period. But if you think that's easy, think of all the lousy action thrillers that come out in the
course of a year. The level of skill that went into "Taken" is masterly.
In essence Liam Neeson is a retired CIA black ops operative, what he refers to as a "preventer", who gave up his career to
spend time with his daughter. His life experience has taught him to be cautious at all times and to trust nobody. His
overbearing nature has caused him to split with his wife but all his time and effort goes into trying to mend his relationship
with his 17 year old daughter. He’s doing well until she insists on travelling to Paris with her girl friend on holiday. Soon
after arrival she’s snatched by a group of guys who have been watching her since she landed in Paris shortly beforehand.
This is where the movie takes off. Neeson plays the character of Bryan with intensity and the guys warmth towards his
daughter is matched by the coldness with which he tracks down and disposes of the guys who took her.
Liam Neeson is incredible in ‘Taken’! The guy is already an a fantastic actor but to have him play a character like Bryan is
brilliant! This is Neeson like you have never seen him before, the guy gives such an intense and powerful performance. It
is fun watching him go through the process of taking out people while he is looking for his daughter, the character is
ruthless and does not hold back. He is calm, fast, and deadly. Mills rely's on his own expertise and a few old spy contacts
from the past that he has tried to bury for his own daughter's well being, so when he begins on a downward spiral to the
person he used to be, he becomes a brutal and merciless man, hell bent on making his daughter's captors suffer. The love
that Mills has for his daughter is such a strong force that it is reflected in the damage he inflicts on others. From torture to
shoot outs, once Taken grabs a hold of the viewer it never lets go. The story becomes rapidly fast moving with action
sequences galore to boot and is able to stray from the clichés that so many films suffer from.
‘Taken’ was completely off the wall and astounding!
You’ve seen the trailer and you know how incredible
that makes the movie look, well the whole movie is
everything the trailer makes it out to be, an extremely
intense action film where Liam Neeson plays the ultimate
badass! A great movie with a somewhat predictable
ending but don’t let that take away from the pure tension
and excitement this movie will give you.
Taken is well worth a view.