When I first saw the trailer for Taken I was unsure of how the film would be. I ended up waiting til it came out on DVD. After seeing it I forgot to do a short review of it. But since I have just finished rewatching it I thought now would be a pretty good time to do one.
Decorated and highly-skilled CIA Special Activities Division officer Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has recently retired. Though his frequent absences led to his divorce, he remained a loving, albeit distant father to his teen-aged daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). After Kim and her friend Amanda go to Paris she is kidnapped by Albanians running a sex trade operation out of Paris. Bryan must now use his elite skills to track down his daughter within 96 hours or else she will be lost forever.
The plot is pretty simplistic. The daughter is kidnapped, the father goes to Paris to hunt her down. But it’s because the plot is so simplistic that it really works. It isn’t like some movies where you have fifty thousand things going on. It’s really straight forward, really easy to follow, and pretty realistic. Seeing the movie the first time really opened my eyes to the whole human trafficking issue that is ongoing around the world.
Of course there’s plenty of action and lots of hand-to-hand close-quarter-combat that keeps you on the edge of your seat while watching. Liam Neeson does an amazing job in this role, which surprised me the first time I saw it.
Pretty much everything. Like I said, the plot is easy to follow and pretty realistic. You find yourself rooting for Bryan and end up really hating the people who instigate all of this. The action is pretty good and isn’t BLURR-O-VISION like The Bourne movies. You can actually SEE the combat. The last fight is really good.
I guess one could argue that the beginning is a little slow, but I never had a problem with that. It’s also bad that this film’s main story arc (girls being kidnapped to be sold as sex slaves) is based on the truth, rather than truly being just fiction (that’s pretty sad and disturbing). That’s about all I can think of.
At one point in the film Bryan pretends to be a French police officer but doesn’t try to fake an accent. If I had to guess, I’d say Neeson probably tried a French accent and either found he couldn’t do it or it sounded so ridiculous that they decided not to even bother. That’s fine, but in the context of the film you’d think someone would say something. It isn’t really that big a deal, but I did find that kind of humorous.
Overall, I really, really like this film. It’s not very long (about an hour and a half), there’s a lot of action, and it’s just a fun ride. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes action films. For me, I’ll give this film a 4 out of 5.