Pros:Liam Neeson as Uber-dad and super-spy. That sounds like a con, but trust me.
Cons:No one not from Krypton can do all that.
The Bottom Line: This movie has HUGE flaws. Ignore them. You will love it anyway.
Taken (2008) Directed by Pierre Morrel.
Recommend this product?
Bryan: I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll 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.
Voice on the phone after a long pause: ....Good luck.
Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a retired CIA operative who is trying desperately to reconnect with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), making up for years of neglect. Main opponent of the father and child reunion, ex-wife Lenny, now *Lenore*, (Famke Janssen) who has remarried into BIG money.
Kim is going to spend the summer in Paris, visiting art museums with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy). Dad is paranoid about this, but Mom is not only okay, but is quite willing to bust his chops over the matter. Whatever her motivation (I personally think her motivation for giving permission was that she knew it would drive Bryan crazy) Dad caves in, and Kim is off to Paris, with strict instructions about calling in, and where to avoid, and how to behave.
Kim and Amanda ignore all this, sharing a cab with a cute boy Peter (Nicolaus Giraud) to the apartment her cousins AREN'T USING, prior to their planned junket around Europe following U2. (Bryan did not want his little girl to go to Paris because it is a dangerous world, but because his daughter is an idiot and death prone.)
She is belatedly checking in with dad when she sees men kidnapping Amanda. Her father talks her through the process for giving him as much information as possible before she is taken. Then, recording in the hands of his CIA buddies, he uses Step Daddy Stuart's (Xander Berkeley) money and his connections to get to Paris. He has 96 hours before the trail will be too cold....
What follows is a whirlwind of superspy skills that would make James Bond envious, martial arts matches that Bruce Lee would have trouble with, and detective work that makes Hercule Poirot look like Joe Hardy.
So if this movie is so preposterous, it must really be bad, hmmm?
Not even a little bit. It is a trip hammer rollercoaster ride through a hail of bullets. Morrel's pacing is as brilliant as the plot is lame, and Liam Neeson proves that he can take any script and make it sing. (Coloratura!)((Smorg will get that one.)) A whirling tornado of gratuitous violence, villainous miscreants getting exactly what they deserve, and a parent's unrelenting drive to do whatever it takes to safeguard their child. Over the top, it is still damned enjoyable.
Like Bryan Mills, this review is Lean-N-Mean at 500 words exactly.
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