Saturday, 19 September 2020
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Thursday, 05 February 2009 00:00

ThumbnailSometimes a movie comes along that has it all – plot, script, acting – the whole nine yards. Taken is NOT one of those movies. But I guess when it comes right down to it, it’s not trying to be, so perhaps that is as good an excuse as any.

What Taken does have to offer is the always-cool presence of Liam Neeson and that isn’t to be underestimated. Neeson kicks ass with the best of them and it’s a refreshing change that this action hero never forgets that he’s mortal. He looks before he leaps, holds back if he has to and gives the bad guys all he’s got when he gets his chance.

Neeson plays the seemingly “average Joe” Bryan Mills. He’s retired and looking to reconnect with his seventeen-year-old daughter (Maggie Grace) while his ex-wife makes that as difficult as possible. What else are ex-wives for? He wasn’t around much when Kim was a little girl but that’s because he was out fighting crime as a government spy. When she flies off to Paris for the summer with her best friend, Dad isn’t too keen on the idea. Can’t say I blame him since her friend is an airhead and Kim herself is about as rambunctious and naïve as a golden retriever puppy. It turns out his instincts were right since the two girls end up getting kidnapped in short order by organized sex-traffickers. He has only 96 hours to find her before she is gone forever. Why 96 hours you ask? Just because it sounds cool…

But as he puts it he is the kidnappers “worst nightmare” and he comes after them with a steely determination to do whatever it takes to find his daughter and bring her home. And I do mean whatever it takes; from martial arts to torture and electrocution or setting off fiery explosions with his car, he is a man of many talents. He can leave an entire city in ruin if he so desires, and all this when he’s out of practice!

It can be difficult to review this kind of movie because on the one hand it is absolutely ridiculous, has a terrible script with such canned one-liners as “I will find you and I will kill you”, and is completely riddled with huge plot-holes. On the other hand the action scenes are well done and you have someone like Liam Neeson bringing what he has to the character and giving him a sort of charm and charisma that has nothing to do with the script. So I guess it all depends on what you are looking for.

ThumbnailNow one thing I am compelled to mention because I think it speaks volumes is the title. I mean come on! How forgettable a title could you possibly bestow upon a movie. They might as well have called it “Kidnapped” or “Stolen” or “Gone” - it would have all amounted to the same uncreative, unmemorable drivel. In six months time, or dare I say in six weeks time, will I have any idea of what movie goes with this title? I think not.

So, if you are seeing it for the explosions, the action scenes or because you are a huge Liam Neeson fan then by all means, Taken is probably for you. It’s got entertainment value. But for anything more than that you might want to hold out and save your movie money.