When Bryan Mills’ (Liam Neeson) daughter goes to Paris, France on vacation he is worried, and not without reason. Within a mere hour after her arrival she and her friend have been abducted and are looking at a bright future in prostitution. What the abductors didn’t know is that Bryan is a highly trained ex-spy who stops at nothing to bring his daughter back. Sounds like an 80’s action movie right? Yes, but this flick was made in 2008 so how out-of-date does it feel?
The first 20 minutes of Taken were a bit of a slow start, a lot of exposition and build-up, but after that the movie went into the highest adrenaline mode and doesn’t stop until we arrived at the obligatory epilogue. In the 80’s a movie like this would star Van Damme, Seagal or Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger actually did a movie with a similar plot: Commando. Today movies like this are played by “real” actors, I think this started with Die Hard with Bruce Willis, which led to people like Nicolas Cage, Harrison Ford and Matt Damon to become action stars. This time it’s Liam Neeson, a very good actor who has delivered a lot of good work over the past few years. When hearing the kind of role he’s playing it’s hard to see him in this role, but let’s not forget his role as Henri Ducard in Batman Begins. The man can handle action well and he does not disappoint. From the moment of his daughters abduction and his monologue following that event he un-pops himself as a ruthless man who goes to extremely great lengths to bring his daughter back. Gladly he’s taking us along the ride because it is just plain fun to see how Liam uses everything in the book, and what was left out of it to reach his goal. This means we get treated to fight scenes which couldn’t have been done better by Steven Seagal in 1990, car chases, shoot-outs, torture scenes and the use of hi-tech for the necessary intel. I’ve had plain fun watching this movie almost from the start to finish. Like I noticed earlier, the first 20 minutes drag a little and I was a bit disappointed by the ending as it is so cliché and gives us actually little information on what happened between the last gunshot on the boat and the arrival in America. The whole French Police department was on his trail (no wonder, all the bodies he left behind), whatever happened to a girl he rescued halfway through the film and how did he get out of the country? But then again, movies like this require a certain suspension of disbelief because if we really had 10 people with a certain set of skills like Bryan Mills the FBI’s most wanted list would be empty and no terrorist attack would ever succeed let alone go unpunished…
This was a good movie in my opinion. I really had a fun time watching it and if you like this type of movie I’m sure you will too.