Taken

Taken

(2008)

Liam Neeson is a hard-assed ex-spy in this French-produced thriller, written by Luc Besson (The Professional). Neeson goes man-alone against the underworld gang who've kidnapped his estranged daughter in Paris. Says he to the perpetrators: "I don't know you who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for a ransom, I can tell you, I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career in the shadows, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you."

Flicks Review

Don't be fooled by the Bourne comparisons, the semi-highbrow cast, the Parisian setting, or the fact that Luc Besson had a hand in this - Taken is as dumb as action films get. A tedious, ill-conceived parade of gaping plot holes and bone-cracking fistfights, you can only imagine Liam Neeson signed up just for the exercise.

Neeson's Bryan is a retired super-spy, but far from any kind of ingenuity and stealth the formidable special skills he boasts of to his daughter's kidnappers apparently turn out to be 'blundering into rooms', 'killing people remorselessly' and 'producing an IV drip from nowhere when the situation demands it'. Worse still, any mystery about who's nabbed his spoilt-brat daughter is dispelled within a couple of minutes of it happening - he gets his ex-spy buddy to analyse a recorded phone call and everything is revealed. Oh, right... that's that then. ... More

All that's left is scene after scene of up-close neck snapping and point blank executions, an incomprehensibly edited shaky-cam car chase and some nasty sub-Jack Bauer 'information extraction' which sours the tone further. Any sympathy you have for Bryan's plight soon runs out once his cold, clinical methods are revealed.

Perhaps the film was meant to analyse the lengths someone will go to in order to protect their offspring. Perhaps it was supposed to raise questions about what is acceptable behaviour when dealing with scumbags. Or perhaps it was just supposed to be an ass-kicking rollercoaster ride. It fails on all counts - Neeson's a poor man's Rambo, and Paris is his Burma. You'd expect better from all involved.

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The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 5 reviews
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I actually really liked this movie. Maybe it’s the father in me that imagines what he might do if he had the right skills if something like this happened to his kids. I liked the movie and could care less what the Flicks critics have to say. All the time we see so called movie critics trying to intellectualise movies, maybe in an attempt to make themselves look intelligent or cultured in some way. So often these self appointed geniuses rubbish a film,in a way that is totally against what... More the general public have to say. Or, sometimes the “Critics” rave about some artsy fartsy piece of crap like the 1992 movie Noises Off, that the so called critics loved, and yet every real person I know thought it was a complete load of unwatchable bollocks. So, to the critics of this film, get a life, and maybe try to imagine the reason people like it, especially parents, is not because it is believable or not, but in the case of this story one father has turned a parent’s worst nightmare into a story with a happy outcome. If you want reality, you won’t find it in movies which are mostly created for the purposes of escapism and/or entertainment, nothing more, nothing less.Hide


My girlfriend talked me into this and I am soooo glad she paid. I know its Hollywood but the implausable nature of the "Superdads" mission and the ease in the way he managed to achieve it left me unconvinced. The holes in the story and the plot in general were glaringly obvious and lacked the glue to hold all the action scenes together in my opinion. Even the character,...the overly doting dad turns into ruthless executioner and back again, I found unbelievable. How the marketers can try to... More compare this to the Bourne series has got me??Hide


I went to see this movie last night and thought it was a great film to see, it opens your eyes to a world where behind money and closed doors is a very inconveinient truth, and it does happen, not just in paris but around the world and we seem to be quite oblivious to it at times, similar to (for example) blood diamond. Cast was fantastic good to see liam again great action scenes and better than the bourne movies it has been related to. top notch!!!


This was way too violent. You should never shoot people in the back as they run away. And the car chase was badly edited - couldn't tell what was going on. Aside from Liam Neeson being strong as the lead, this is only a movie to watch whilst drunk or hungover. NZ Herald is completely wrong with its 4 stars.


Hi

Just got back from seeing this with my book club and happy to say I was sitting by some one for whom this style of movie wasn't what they would normally see and yet they enjoyed it


The Press Reviews

  • A bone-crunching and sometimes sadistic action thriller - there is quite a lot of cold-blooded execution. Not to mention car chases, shoot-outs and an almost automaton performance by the merciless Bryan (Neeson). Full Review

  • Pierre Morel's direction lives up to the script's demands as a high octane action thriller with some of the most effective fight sequences of recent times, and some stunning stunts. He also makes Bryan's bruising encounters with the bad guys exciting for their choreography and camera coverage. There is also a touch of realism in Bryan getting injured, which helps maintain authenticity. But the film's big strength remains its solid story - and its well chosen cast. Full Review