Director: Pierre Morel
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Liam Neeson is one of those actors that makes you say, “oh yeah, I forgot about him. I really like him, I wish he did more movies”. He seems to pop up every decade or so and never delivers a turd, Taken is no exception.
Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills. Ex CIA agent who took an early retirement package so that he could spend more time with his Daughter Kimmy, played by Maggie Grace and make up for the fact that he was away on missions for most of her childhood. His ex wife, played by Famke Janssen has remarried and spends most of her time making it very difficult for Bryan to make amends. Kimmy decides that she wants to spend the summer in europe with her best friend who seems to be a less than great influence. Both His ex-wife and his daughter succeed in making Bryan feel guilty about not wanting Kimmy to go so against his gut feeling that 17 year old girls should not be travelling to foreign countries on their own, he agrees to let he go. Almost immediately, both girls are abducted and Bryan must jump back into secret agent mode to try to save his daughter.
Taken is a classic suspense, action, thriller in the spirit of Frantic with Harrison Ford or Death Wish. It is not very often you get to see a well done, thriller that combines the ingredients of suspense and action anymore. Most action movies are just that, all action, very little suspense or story. Most recent thrillers are either based on absurd plot lines or have such weak performances that you walk out feeling, as Teddy KGB would say, UNSATISFIED. The other characteristic of current action movies and thrillers is their apparent need to sugar coat the endings, taking any edge the film might have had and griding it off. Taken avoids these trappings of the modern action thriller genre and offers 2 hours of car chases and mystery solving that leaves you thinking…Liam Neeson, I like him, I wish he would do more movies.