Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Review: Taken

Filed under: Fun,Movies,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I saw Taken Friday night with a group of friends for a “guys night out”.

First of all, let me say that this was a pretty simple, straight-forward movie in terms of plot and message. Of course, that was one of the things I liked about the movie. The bad guys were undeniably bad and the good guy was, well, a little bad, too, but considering that he was a father saving his daughter from a white slavery ring, I think that’s understandable.
Okay, so this movie is probably not going to win any awards or be very acclaimed by the critics, but I liked it a lot. It stars Liam Neeson as a former CIA agent who sacrificed his family and home-life in his dedication to the job. As a result, he’s become estranged from his now teenaged daughter. In an attempt to fix that, he’s given up his work and moved to L.A. to be near his daughter and his ex-wife and his ex-wife’s very rich new husband. Neeson plays a pretty sympathetic character, I think. At least, he’s sympathetic to anyone who’s ever been a father. He’s quite protective of his daughter, which is understandable both because of the world we live in and the job that his character used to do.
The plot, as much as I can say without revealing anything important, revolves around his daughter going on a trip to Europe. A trip about which she is not quite entirely honest with her father. It’s a classic plot launcher for simple, straight-forward movies like this that the dishonest must pay. And, she does. To start with, things aren’t quite as she’s been led to believe and she’s alone with another girl in Paris. That alone wouldn’t be so bad, but they run afoul of Albanian white slavers. Man, there’s nothing I hate more than Albanian white slavers. (Yes, I’m poking a bit of fun at how often they emphasized the fact that these guys were, in fact, Albanians. I guess someone had an axe to grind.)
In any case, Neeson’s character gets a panicked phone call from his daughter as she’s being taken. He warns the men to let her go or they’ll be sorry, but they don’t listen. Basically, they have no idea just what kind of damage Neeson’s character is capable of dishing out, or that they’re about to feel the full effect of that skill at hurting people.

And, again, without revealing too much, for about an hour and thirty minutes, what you have is Liam Neeson chasing bad guys all over Paris. Chasing them on foot, in cars and on a boat. Chasing them down alleys, hallways, stairways, through rooms filled with parties and criminals. Often, shooting them when he finally catches them. Occasionally cutting them or stabbing them. At least once, hitting them with a pipe and hooking one up to electricity. But, I assure you, he only does that to the bad guys. Oh, well, except for the one time he wings the wife of an old colleague who’s gotten corrupt. Other than that, though, he’s only shooting, stabbing, punching and torturing the bad guys. Honest.

I won’t tell you how it ends, but Taken is a very good action movie indeed. Edited down to a PG-13 here in the States, it was even more violent in other places, so I really look forward to a Director’s Cut DVD. It’s no surprise to me that this is at the top of the box office returns this weekend. It was a great movie and I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who digs action without gratuitous explosions. Again, it’s a simple, straight-forward movie, but it delivers on every promise it makes in the trailers, ads and reviews.
Well worth seeing in the theaters on the big screen!

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