Saturday, June 4, 2011

Reviewing: Taken (2008)

“I will find you. And I will kill you.”

Taken is a good movie, hands down. Luc Besson, who has directed such movies as the great Leon/The Professional and the bizarre but fun The Fifth Element has once again given us one hell of a ride. It stars Liam Neeson (Shindler’s List, The Phantom Menace), Famke Janssen (GoldenEye) and Maggie Grace (The Fog). Nowadays it is once in a blue moon that a great action flick comes around, with a somewhat believable script, great acting roles and non-stop thrills. Taken is one of them. This movie is on par with some of the greatsof the genre like Die Hard.

Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a recently retired spy who wants to get back on terms with his daughter Kim (Grace) after barely seeing her over his career. Famke Janssen plays Lenore, the mother and ex-wife of Bryan. Kim wants to go to Paris with a friend and Bryan is skeptical saying that she doesn’t know the world like he does. It’s dangerous. No big surprise, she is taken by slave traders and Bryan goes on a bloody mission of revenge to get his daughter back. And let the badassery begin.

The script of this movie is good. It has a sense of realism, and a kind of warning about how bad the world is out there. It has numerous plot holes and is of course it’s predictable, if you didn’t know what the movie was about before going in, you would know within the first 5 minutes because of Bryan’s skepticism about his daughter and friend going to Paris alone. But, just because it has those faults doesn’t mean the movie can’t be enjoyable. It is also very well shot. I remember first seeing the movie and was wowed by the cinematography and camerawork. That combined with solid writing makes the movie work like the classic action movie, where there is buildup before every action scene and it’s not just nonstop action. Taken lets the audience catch their breath for a few minutes with solid writing before diving back in for more kickass thrills.

The underground sex slave trade is a scary topic, and Besson portrays it just right. It is shocking enough to be scary that this could happen to someone, but it’s not extremely in depth enough that it would depress you and turn you off from the movie. There are scenes in the movie that are inside rundown whorehouses and even in the sophisticated areas where the leaders of the slave trade do their business deals. The fact that people are still auctioned off to be put in this horrible world is horrific, and this makes Bryan’s revenge oh so much sweeter. What better than to kill tons of sex slave traders? I found myself cheering more for the protagonist in this movie more than I had in a long while. When it is something as bad as human trafficking, blood is the only way justice can be served.

Taken is a good movie. It is enjoyable throughout; there is never a point in the movie where it gets boring. The movie slows down after each action scene, but the writing and acting is good enough to keep the audience from questioning some of its ridiculous premises. Neeson plays a badass hero, and audiences and critics alike thought so because he has been offered more leads in action movies. This is a damn good movie, and won’t fail to disappoint both action junkies and the opposite alike.
Critique: 7/10

Personal enjoyment: 8/10

1 comment:

  1. Interesting take

    I watched it myself recently as all my mates were raving about it, it was definitely a good film, Neeson played his part very well and some good action scenes. I'd agree with the 7/10 rating personally.