Thursday, January 29, 2015

Taken (2008)

Director: Pierre Morel
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Holly Valance, Katie Cassidy, Xander Berkeley, Olivier Rabourdin, Gerard Watkins, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Nicolas Giraud

Former CIA field agent Bryan Mills (Neeson), whose struggling in an attempt to rebuild a relationship with his spoilt daughter (Grace), is asked to let her go on a trip to Paris unchaperoned with a friend. At the airport, the girls are followed by a Frenchman (Giraud) and immediately kidnapped by a group of intruders leaving Bryan to take matters in to his own hands.

Written and produced by Luc Beeson, the filmmaker behind Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element and The Transporter to name a few, harks back to the vigilante films of the 70's like the Dirty Harry and Death Wish series. It works simply because it doesn't overcomplicate matters and Beeson and co-writer Robert Mark Kamen (The Karate Kid series, The Transporter series) fill the script up with great lines and puns.

Neeson is the pure reason it works and his believability in the character and his actions helps us as an audience to forget the legitimacy of the situation and go along with it. Grace finds a nice balance and using French actors, such as Giraud and Rabourdin, are cast to great affect. It may not be everyones cup-of-tea but it does what it needs to do and never overstays its welcome. Some of the sex slavery content may put people off.


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