Release Date: January 30th, 2009
Click here for the Taken Trailer.
Taken puts a new spin on the kidnapping movie and transforms it into a pulse-pounding, full-blown action movie.
Liam Neeson is Bryan, a friend, father, and former C.I.A. "preventer". Now into early retirement, Bryan is trying his best to make up for time lost with his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). When Kim and her mother (Famke Janssen) ask Bryan to sign release forms for Kim to go to Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy), Bryan is hesitant, knowing first hand the dangers of going out of the country for a girl her age. But, like any father who only wants his daughter to be happy, Bryan begrudgingly signs the forms and lets Kim go to Paris. However, as soon as they land in Paris, Bryan's worst fears come true. When he gets a phone call from Kim depicting their safe arrival, four men suddenly break into the apartment where the girls are staying and take Amanda. Bryan knows full well what is about to happen and gives Kim specific instructions on where to go and what to describe about her attackers because Kim is about to be taken. When she is, Bryan has one last conversation with the kidnappers and promises them one thing, "I don't know who you are, but if you don't let my daughter go, I will find you and I will kill you." Using his C.I.A. skills, old C.I.A. friends, and the short, broken phone call from Kim, Bryan begins to slowly piece together details of what happened. Through his investigation, Bryan discovers that the kidnappers are part of an Albanian crime ring that kidnaps young girls and sells them into the sex trade. Bryan now has only 96 hours from when Kim was abducted to find her before she drops off the grid completely. The closer and closer he gets, the harder it is to find Kim and it seems like he's always one step behind her. But Bryan is set on finding her, and doesn't let anything get in his way of finding the thing that means the most the most in his life, Kim.
O.k. so Taken is far different from the typical kidnapping movies we typically see. Thinking back on kidnapping movies, I typically think of Ransom (Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise). The son gets taken and everybody is crying and paying the ransom, blah blah blah. Taken says hell no to ransom and hell no to negotiating. Its all "you give me back my daughter or I am going to kill you", and that is exactly what happens. Now when you think of action stars or somebody you need in an action type movie, Liam Neeson doesn't typically come to mind. He normally does the prize winning Oscar performances, the serious dramatic roles. But after seeing Taken we now know Neeson can do it all. The best thing about his character his the way Neeson delivers his lines. He has the deep, calm voice that makes you shiver a little. Whenever he speaks, you know he isn't messing around. The story is also heart touching and dramatic in the extreme. Just the fact that it is Kim's father doing all this to try and get her back just tugs at your heart strings the whole time and Neeson definitley does an incredible job of really showing his love for his daughter and his desperation in getting her back.
But lets get to the meat and potatoes of the movie and that is the action. Neeson's character is an ex-C.I.A. operative so his fighting skills are intense. Neeson is like the ass-kicking birth child of James Bond and Jason Bourne. And when he says he will kill everybody if he doesn't get his daughter back, he means it. Neeson literally kills everybody he comes across without a second thought. The best thing about the fight scenes are that they are not so polished as some you might see in a James Bond film or Bourne film. They bring a more realistic approach to how someone would fight in the surroundings Neeson was in. There not choreographed, elaborate fight scenes, there all out, fight to the death, do what you have to survive fights and Neeson is always top dog.
I really do not have any negative things to say about this movie. The only thing I didn't like was the character of the mom because she was a complete and total b-word. But that really can't be considered a flaw considering that was how she was supposed to be. The plot was fantastic and original, the action was great, and the acting was top notch. If you are a fan of Liam Neeson, action films, or just good movies in general, then you should definitley see Taken.
I give Taken 10 Albanian Sex Traffickers out of 10.
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