Movie Review: ‘Taken’

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, January 30, 2009 at 12:10 am.

Summary: An American girl is kidnapped by human traffickers while traveling in Paris with her best friend.  Her father, a former CIA operative, goes on a violent mission to rescue his daughter.

Review: There is nothing original, different, or unique in one frame of Taken.  A carbon copy plotline about international travelers who lack street smarts and the lengths the hero will go to save them. Don’t expect the unexpected in this French action thriller, especially in an ending that is about as predictable as a Pine Sol commercial.

Regardless, this movie isn’t about a strong storyline. Taken is decadently filled with car chases, shoot outs and fight scenes.  In the vain of Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van Damme, Taken functions as a junk food action flick.  This seems to be the movie’s intent, which results in one of the more enjoyable and fun movies of the New Year.

Be sure to plop yourself in action fantasy land to thoroughly enjoy Taken.  For example, Bryan Mills, the angry middle-aged dad played by Liam Neeson, manages to travel with only one suitcase from California to Paris and pop up with hospital equipment, endless guns and technology that could hunt down Osama Bin Liden.  Pops, who is a former CIA operative, eventually has the strength of the Bionic Man and an invincible X-Men character.  This dad never misses a shot with his countless guns, a punch always lands and there are no wrong turns in speeding cars.  Plus, he is practically psychic, randomly knowing where the villains are with no explanation or logic given to the audience.

What is most enjoyable is how Mills can make farfetched weapons or escape routes with a piece of metal, thread and air —the creators of Taken need to write the creators of MacGyver a check.

Overall, Taken knows not to take itself too seriously.  No lengthy monologues, no plot twists, nothing to make your brain think too hard and there is a cutesy pop diva storyline.  The viewer can appreciate a film like this, it speeds by in a quick ninety minutes, while extremely predictable, there is enough non-stop action to fully entertain.

Taken is in theatres today.

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