Release Date: January 30, 2009
Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Runtime: 93 min
Tagline: “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.”
It’s a great concept that sometimes doesn’t execute itself all that well, but is nonetheless bullets of fun.
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a retired CIA agent who is trying to strike up a relationship with his now seventeen year-old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). She soon takes a trip to Paris, and finds herself kidnapped for the purpose of human trafficking. The ring is ran by a gang of Albanians who hook the female tourists on drugs and then prostitute them as an organized business. Mills then travels to Paris in an attempt to find his daughter and bring her back to the U.S. before his appointed window of 96 hours runs out. He must do this, no matter the cost – even if the streets run with blood and nothing but havoc is raised for the French police and former colleagues.
Taken offers a fine experience, that sometimes drags on, but is an overall great concept that is nothing but fun. There’s hardly a message wrapped up in here, just good old fashioned badass-ness. I guess if there was a message to take from this, it would be ‘do anything for your family, no matter the cost’.
One thing I didn’t like about the film was why he was trying to strike up a relationship with his daughter at this point in her life. I mean, she’s seventeen and she’d rather be off with her friends doing teenage and irresponsible activities. Also, Maggie Grace was like what, twenty-six when she played this seventeen year-old? That’s just a little ridiculous, could the studio not find a better actress to do the part? I won’t complain too much though, she performs fairly well – I like her.
The phone monologue is pretty awesome, and is definitely the best part of the film – that you can see in the trailer. It doesn’t run on too long, but some scenes are a little draining. The body count in this movie is crazy. The car chases are pretty memorable, but a lot of the kills aren’t anything that special.
Liam Neeson’s character is pretty sweet, but his ex-wife was hardly likable at all. Who likes a complaining old broad? It’s a great thing that she’s a minor character. One should understand my lack of excitement for her being a larger character in the sequel to this.
Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, Katie Cassidy, Holly Valance and Xander Berkeley headline this action delight.
While Taken is a great concept with some poor pacing, it isn’t shy of being an action great. It does offer some memorable sequences, but the average ones are also, unfortunately, high in numbers. This movie is a self-aware action delight that satisfies on many levels.
– Daniel Prinn