#1  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:19 PM
Taken

Taken (2009)

"Taken" works really well as a suspenseful thriller and an emotional drama. It's the kind of movie that, once it gets going, it doesn't let go until the end. You are forced along for the ride, staying mostly on the edge of your seat, while one man does everything he can to save his little girl.

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a former spy who has quit his job to be near his 17-year-old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). When his daughter needs his permission to go on a trip to Paris with a friend of hers, he feels that it would not be safe for her. He eventually gives in after giving her certain conditions such as calling him as soon as she lands and every night before she goes to bed. When they do finally talk on the phone, several men break into her apartment, in which she and her friend are staying, and take both girls. This leads Bryan to start a manhunt in Paris to find his daughter.

This film took a little while to find its footing, but once it does, it really took off. The brief running time of the movie, about 88 minutes, doesn't really allow much time for the exposition anyway. We learn very little about the characters before hand, but perhaps that is for the best. This is a revenge/man on a mission movie, so going too deep into the character's backgrounds would probably hurt the pacing. All we really need to know is that Bryan is an ex-spy and has been separated from his wife for some time now.

The scene in which Bryan can hear his daughter being abducted is both chilling and horrifying to listen to. Bryan gives his warning to the kidnapper, but it comes off more as a pledge, that he will find him and kill him. From then on, the revenge aspect kicks in, giving it the feeling of being a French version of Tarantino's "Kill Bill." It doesn't try to sugarcoat the plot with anything complicated or random plot elements. This is what makes it such a good film. It is simply a straight-up, action-packed, man on a mission film.

Liam Neeson is perfect for this type of role, yet I don't recall him ever doing anything quite like it. His previous roles tended to be much more mellower, like Qui-Gon in the "The Phantom Menace" or Dr. Kinsey in "Kinsey." Even when he played the villain Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul in "Batman Begins," he didn't fight as much as he does here. In "Taken," he delivers every line with incredible sincerity. So much so, that when he gives his pledge to the kidnapper, you know he means it. He will not stop until he finds the people responsible and until his daughter is home safe again.

What made Bryan such a fascinating character was his mentality. He is willing to go to such lengths to save his daughter that he is willing to kill many people, break several laws, and risk not only his life, but the lives of several French citizens in the process. Bryan gives the impression that his whole investigation is on the fly, so as he finds out about something, so do we. This gives the film its emotional edge. The whole time that Bryan is wondering if his daughter is still alive, so are we.

Famed French director Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen have crafted a screenplay that sets up the story very well, but also one that doesn't waste a lot of time in getting to the point. These are the same writers that gave us the underrated "The Fifth Element," so it's clear they know how to put together a good action movie. One thing that action films tend to do is get really cheesy with the dialogue when the action begins, but they pay special attention to every aspect of their script, making every line count throughout. When the action begins in "Taken," the dialogue is just as important as it was, if not more, as Bryan has to use his talking skills to probe into Paris's dark side.

"Taken" has been around in France since early 2008, but is just getting its release in the US later this month. It's certainly a good way of kicking off the movie year. January is usually considered the studios' "dump month," but "Taken" is one that will have you on the edge of your seat and cheering for the hero until his nightmare is over. 3.5/4 stars.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:44 PM
Solid action movie. Paper-thin plot and you see a lot of what is coming, but a very entertaining film with a good performance from Liam.

7/10
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2009, 06:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawlin67 View Post
Solid action movie. Paper-thin plot and you see a lot of what is coming, but a very entertaining film with a good performance from Liam.

7/10
Exactly. Some pretty bad ass hand-to-hand combat.
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2009, 07:51 PM
Saw the trailer for this in theaters and thought it looked pretty bad ass, I'll definately check it out.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2009, 09:10 PM
Your review sounds convincing despite two major things going against it.

-it is PG-13 instead of R (I'm having bad memories of Live Free or Die Hard)
-it is being released by 20th Century Fox (see above)
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2009, 12:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by razgriz21 View Post
Your review sounds convincing despite two major things going against it.

-it is PG-13 instead of R (I'm having bad memories of Live Free or Die Hard)
-it is being released by 20th Century Fox (see above)
Ignore those things, Taken is brilliant. Imagine if Jason Bourne's tougher, and really pissed off dad, headed to Paris and proceeded to tear through the entire city to get his little girl back.

The beginning was a bit of the cheesy and standard "Estranged father loves his daughter but cant be with her" fare, and had me worried, but once it got to the part at the concert I was like "Wow... ok!" It never let up from there... Not for a second. Also, Maggie Grace can't act to save her life, so you have to suffer through her being on screen, but not for very long.

I personally give it 10/10, not because it's perfect, but because it just simply kicks lots of ass. Neeson is every bit as bad ass as Bourne or Bond in this.

Yes, I just said that.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2009, 10:41 PM
^^^No one likes Maggie Grace?

Granted, I only saw her on Lost, but it has Liam Nesson.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2009, 01:36 AM
I need to see this. Maggie Grace is brilliant on LOST, and heartbreaking in this trailer.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2009, 02:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by razgriz21 View Post
^^^No one likes Maggie Grace?

Granted, I only saw her on Lost, but it has Liam Nesson.
She's alright but she doesn't have a whole lot of screen time. I mean, the whole movie is Neeson looking for her and her kidnappers afterall.


My only negative comment about this movie is there are a few times that this movie is inflicted with a problem that a lot of action movies seem to have these days. The shaky cam. It's not TOO bad but it is a minor distraction a few times.

Otherwise, this movie definitely kicked MAJOR ass!

And I don't know if it's the score or the traveling around from place to place, but this movie definitely gave me a Jason Bourne vibe while watching it.

And I would actually say Liam Neeson is even more badass Jason Bourne! He's almost on Jack Bauer level badassness!

7/10
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2009, 08:42 AM
So, how many people that downloaded the leaked version will be PAYING to see the movie in theaters or on dvd?

Last edited by shoe1985; 01-09-2009 at 08:54 AM..
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2009, 09:28 AM
I definitely will be since it kicked ass!

If it had sucked I wouldn't. But since I liked it a lot, definitely.

Especially since it might be the only good movie opening in January!
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2009, 05:21 PM
I've been stuck at home today, so out of bored desperation, I found Taken online, with chinese subtitles, which were easier to ignore as the movie progressed. It was a very solid film. Very direct storyline, doesn't waste too much time getting into it, and Liam is hardcore all the way through. Maggie Grace was heartbreaking and convincing (her run was kind of strange...), but I thought Taken was pretty brilliant...

8/10
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2009, 10:03 PM
Could have done with out the first and last 15 minutes like some others were saying. But a fun movie to watch once. 6.5/10
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2009, 06:14 AM
8.5/10

Just saw this on Thursday night with my wife. As a father of three little girls I found this film pretty difficult to deal with. It was a fantastic movie but the idea behind it is pretty scary. Of course that just made watching Liam Neeson fuck people up even better. I found this film to be extremely entertaining and one of the better action films I've seen in a long time and it is accompanied by dialougue that is actually worth paying attention to. It was great to see Neeson in a movie this big again and he delivered! What a great performance by him. Like I said, as a father of girls I could seriously relate to his relentlessness. Everyone, and I do mean everyone involved in his daughters kidnapping gets fucked up bad. The scene with Marco was my favorite with the elevator execution coming in at a close second. Neeson's character's actions in this film reminded me of a quote from Wyatt Earp; "Nothing counts as much as blood, the rest are just strangers."

I will be purchasing this dvd.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2009, 01:09 AM
I was just thinking.Why did not Liam's Character's Baddass spy buddies join him on his hunt??? It seemed like they would have done anything for him!! It would have been awesome to see them just ripping up that prissy assed ,wussy city to shreads even moore than he did!! Damn ,the French annoy the flying fuck out of me.It is a shame ,because I would love to travel to the south of france ,and just chill with the scorpions.But they have let far,far too many scumbags in the place.They let these scummy foreigners ,just come and basically just bent over and let them ass ram them w/ sandpaper condoms, wipe away their rich culture and replace it with sharia,and albanian customs ,like trafficing in girls. Wake the fuck up france ,and take your land back, you sissy's.And stop drinking that wussy wine and try slamming a brewski!! you might grow some !!!!!Sorry to offend anyone ,But I am sick and tired of everything lately!!!!I would like to see Bernie Madoff stockaded ,and take a big 3 minute long keg beer wiz on him
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2009, 03:50 AM
Really solid flick. Fun, entertaining and exciting. Liam Neeson rocks in it. Sure, it's completely predictable and unoriginal, but who cares? It's a big crowd pleaser.

7/10
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