Saturday, May 16, 2009
Movie Reviews: TAKEN
Bryan Mills has only recently given up his government career as what he calls, a "preventer" to be near his daughter Kim, who lives with Bryan's ex-wife Lenore and her new husband. To make ends meet, Bryan joins some former colleagues for special security details (like guarding a pop diva), but most of his time and energy are spent re-connecting with Kim. But, when Kim requests his permission to spend time in Paris with a friend, he reluctantly consents. Bryan's worst fears are realized when Kim and her friend Amanda are suddenly abducted - in broad daylight - from the Paris apartment at which they've just arrived. Moments before Kim is dragged away by the as yet unseen and unknown assailants, she manages to phone Bryan, who begins to expertly piece together clues that will take him to the darkness of Paris's underworld, and to the
City of Light's plushest mansions.
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Jon Gries
Director: Pierre Morel
Opened January 30, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 33 min.
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing thematic material, sexual content, some drug reference
Genres: Action Thriller, Thriller
Totally preposterous and ludicrous, Taken doesn’t concern itself with logic or reality but it does give the audience a nice dosage of adrenaline rush. Director Pierre Morel keeps a brisk pace once the film moves past its clunky opening. Morel has a keen eye for action and his direction of the various action sequences are top notch. Liam Neeson seems like an unlikely choice for an action vehicle but he does fantastic believe work once his character begin using his plethora of “skills” to punish the bad guys. Neeson is totally committed to the role and he maintains a palatable intensity throughout much of the film. He’s also remarkably believable in his Bourne like action sequences. The supporting cast is mostly background noise with Maggie Grace having the most screen time mostly acting like a goofy teenager. Famke Janssen is given an underwritten role and doesn’t have much to do other than be a stereotypical ex wife to Neeson’s character. Once the action starts going this film is Neeson’s and he does wonderful work. In a lesser actor’s hand this would have utter trash, Neeson elevates it with a serious sense of gravitas even in though he’s working with a totally unoriginal script and a plot so silly that it’s laughable at times.