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Following my review of Unknown, starring Liam Neeson, I received a suggestion from a dooyooer that I should watch Taken (thank you thedevilinme!). I was channel flicking a few weeks ago when I saw that Taken was about to start. I put the kettle on and sat down to watch it (on a Saturday night... because that's how I roll...).
Taken was made in 2008 and was written and produced by Luc Besson (also known for the Taxi films) and is an action thriller which now also has a sequel.
Taken is an action thriller starring Liam Neeson as an ex-CIA agent, Brian, whose daughter, Kim, is kidnapped while on holiday with her friend, Amanda. She is taken by people traffickers who are travelling in France in order to sell on for prostitution. They are scouted at the airport by a representative for the trafficking gang who works his way in until Kim and Amanda are kidnapped from the apartment they are staying at. Kim's father hears the entire kidnap and talks Kim through the situation and tells her that she is going to be taken too, but tells her what to do. Her father flies to France and hunts down the kidnappers with his CIA knowledge! Brian's ex-colleague assists him by informing him that the kidnapping gang may be the Albanian trafficking ring who have been kidnapping female travellers. He embarks on a mission across Paris to hunt them down and find his daughter. I won't tell you too much of the plot as I don't want to give it away!
I really felt for Kim throughout the film. She is really quite innocent and her father feels like she is being led astray as she grows up. She is naive and inexperienced due to her father being so overprotective. When she sees Amanda be kidnapped, you can tell how absolutely terrified she is. The way she keeps it together and doesn't fall apart or stand frozen in terror is really amazing. This is the point where you realise just how her father underestimates her. I really felt her terror, my heart was pounding when you see the situation from her point, cowering under the bed waiting for them to find her.
The music score is incredible in this film, it really adds to the emotion you feel, particularly at such tense moments as the kidnapping. The drama builds and builds in an orchestral number until the dramatic point where Kim is kidnapped.
When Brian finds where some of the trafficked women have been taken, the headquarters of the gang. What he finds is incredibly harrowing and is gutting, showing you the effect of such incidents on the girls. It shows the culmination of drugs, prostitution and kidnapping. This is the scene that actually made me cry. I don't often cry watching films, but this was incredibly heart wrenching.
This film is an hour and a half (90 minutes) long and absolutely flies by because I was hooked from beginning to end. It is available for just £3 on Amazon (bargain!!), however I'm sure it must also be available on lovefilm and similar sites.
Taken has got to be one of the coolest movies i've seen in a long time. it never fails to me feel like i could someday be as awesome as Liam Neeson and someday take on the whole world with my insane tracking and stealth skills.
This movie is based around a retired CIA agent who's daughter gets taken. (Really?!) and with epic skills of Bryan Mills, the main character, he fights his way through all the bad guys to try and get her back.
The actions scenes are presented well and adds adrenaline to all of the sneaky scenes. I'd watched this movie not to long ago, and i'd recently seen Taken 2, Yesterday in fact. But i'd recommend that if you've seen Taken (This one) and not Taken 2, don't bother watching the sequel! It's nowhere near as good as the first.
The main plot line to Taken is about Bryan's daughter Kim being kidnapped on a trip to Paris with her best friend, the only problem is that they are alone. This them results in Kim being sold into prostitution along with hundreds of other teenage girls, and them then being sold off to many different men and organisations within the sex slave industry.
There are many memorable quotes in this film that i'm sure those who have watched the movie will know and understand. With almost every phone conversation you have with someone at least 2 weeks after watching the movie. " 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" Now this ladies and gentlemen is Liam Neeson at his finest, the the most bad-ass way possible.
The acting within the film is played off well as there are a lot of emotions that the actors and actresses need to play off with the different scenes, whether that's being extremely sad and scared when being attacked (Like the daughter, Kim, played superbly by Maggie Grace) as well as, aggressive, happy etc.
The camera angles and the way the film is presented is carried out well. you never really feel like you#re missing out on any of the action and you are always guaranteed to catch all of the action and the amazing stunts.
I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who loves action and adventure, as well as a slight bit of violence and bad guys getting their comeuppance.
Watched this recently on TV as I remember seeing posters for the movie in the subway when it was released, and thought it looked good. And it does, until you watch it and find out what it's about.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Masked as an action thriller, Taken is indeed full of action, but what you didn't know was the premise behind which such action takes place. Bryan (Liam Neeson) retires from his government job to spend more time with his family and to build a relationship with his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace).
When Kim and her friend goes on holiday to France, they get kidnapped by a group of Albanians who traffik young female travellers by hooking them onto drugs. Bryan uses his skills to take revenge on such group and to rescue his daughter before it's too late.
The mystery is apparent at the beginning as you wonder what kind of job Bryan did before his retirement, though you just kept waiting and waiting for something to happen to her daughter as you know this is when the action begins.
Bryan's chase to find his daughter was rather brutal, almost killing everyone in his way. He does several clever things on his way to finding her, such as posing as his "friend" Jean Claude in negotiating with the Albanians and also backstabbing Jean Claude in his home.
However, I found most of the action too dark, and the car chases especially, I could not make out who was who and what was happening, so those were completely wasted on me.
Whilst I'm sure the action is there, it seems a bit forced given the premise, though it did scare my a bit that this kind of stuff happens as I'm about to go on holiday with my friends though thankfully we're not female, and my friend knows some sort of martial art.
Liam Neeson- Bryan
Maggie Grace- Kim
Also stars Holly Valance, Famke Janssen.
It was nice to see Holly Valance in it in a small role; she didn't act very well, but it was still nice to see her active in the industry.
Taken is supposed to be a good solid action film, though whilst the action is there, the background story is weak. If you read deeply into it, you could say it's a beautiful story of a father trying to find his daughter and rescue her (perfect for Father's day) but most of the action was far too dark to see.
This is similar to Bourne- I'd rather watch that for the gazillionth time than this again.
I'm pretty selective when it comes to films, but I've got to say that Taken was excellent.
I've watched it twice now, and have recommended it to friends and family. The film has a moral story behind it too which is great.
The Story (Rated 18)
I don't want to tell you everything that happens, so briefly:
A teenage girl wants to go on holiday with friends, but lies to her father and says she is going with her friend's cousins who are a lot older. The dad disagrees (he is a spy and knows the dangers of this world) but as the parents are divorced he has no power to make her stay back - the mother is far too leniant and allows her daughter to do as she pleases. While the girl is on holiday she is kidnapped..and only her Dad can help.
This story is amazing - a real eye opener with a twist.
I'll leave you to watch the film - hope you enjoyed this review!
I have always had a love for Liam Neeson and after watching this film, my love for him has stayed strong. He portrays great emotion in the part of Bryan, a retired CIA agent who has moved closed to California to live near his daughter and the apple of his eye, Kim. Kim lives with her mother and wealthy step father and arranges a trip to Paris with her close friend Amanda, who is barely featured in the film. Bryan is reluctant to let his daughter go to Paris as he 'knows what the world is like' - referring to his life as an agent and to his absence during her childhood.
After deliberation, he accepts and Kim goes to Paris, but after a few hours of arriving, Bryan receives a distraught phone call from his daughter, and this follows with her being taken. This is where Liam Neesons 'skills' go into action, with him scouring Paris for his daughter. His heart breaking adventure endures many pit stops, with him finding Amanda dead in 'the house' and many girls being hooked on heroin and then used for prostitution and trafficking. The whole circuit unravels over the period of the film and it shows a fathers strong paternal bond for his daughter, it is truly an inspirational film. I do not want to give the whole plot away and will not tell you the ending.
I acquired this film from Tesco for £7 and it was one of my best purchases, it gets many watches and can be watched many times.
In the film there are some film mistakes which are unnoticeable unless you are articulate, however, it only occurs once so is not the biggest deal in the world. This film looses a star for this reason and because it lacks realism in the fact he gets stabbed twice and shot three times and remains alive in comparison to the other people who died.
I would definitely recommend this film as it is an easy watch and also explores many genres in one film, as well as grabbing the attention of the audience from the first scene. A great Friday night DVD watch
RELEASED: Sept 2008 - Certificate 15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 93 mins
DIRECTOR: Pierre Moral
WRITER: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills
Maggie Grace as Kim Mills
Leland Orser as Sam
Famke Janssen as Lenore
Holly Valance as Sheerah
David Warshofsky as Bernie
"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."
Source: [Taken, 2008]
This paragraph above sets the scene for the movie, and as you can tell, it is quite gripping due to its threatening and audacious nature. It portrays Liam Neeson as a ruthless, and utterly determined individual who will not let anything, anything at all, get in his way as he attempts to get his daughter back.
This thriller/action movie is set mainly in Paris, and Neeson, we find out, is a retired CIA agent who has been attempting to get on better terms with his teenage daughter. It is revealed that he is a long time divorcee and his wife has been married to a wealthy man. We find out that Neeson attended every single one of his daughter's birthday parties. This really endears us to his character as we can see that he really does love his daughter, even though he was absent throughout the majority of his daughter's (Kim's) childhood.
So, the story starts off when Kim, with the reluctant permission of his father, and less reluctant consent of her mother, jetting off to Paris with her best friend who has managed to organise accommodation via one of her friends there. However, things quickly go bitter as both Kim and her friend are kidnapped by men in black. Luckily, Kim manages to get on the phone to her father and tell him what is going on before she is snatched away. This is where Bryan sets hid agenda to bring back her daughter and kill the perpetrators.
The story really gets going after this and the pace and tension is fantastic. Neeson, or otherwise called Bryan in the film, methodically tracks down leads with the help of his CIA connections, until he managed to rescue his daughter.
This is one of the best thriller/action movies I have ever watched! Neeson fits his role perfectly with his presence creating an atmosphere of utmost tension and detemrination. It really does reach out to the audience and this is one of the things that makes this one fantastic movie, along with all the action and how we watch what love and determination can drive a man to do and what it can allow him to achieve.
I'd say this is a brilliant movie for everyone out there who is a fan of thriller movies. There is some gruesome "action" in a few places, but nothing too unexpected.
My final words would be "GO AND WATCH THIS MOVIE"!
This was the highlighted film of the week in the telly guide a few weeks ago, so it was an easy choice to turn the film on. Since having kids we never get chance to go the cinema anymore so i had missed any hype around the film around its 2008 release, although i am not sure i would have watched it there as i tend to prefer light hearted films when we go out, and this film doesn't fit into this category.
Liam Neeson is an ex CIA agent, Bryan Mills who has taken a retirement from his line of work to try and get closer to his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace, best known to me for playing Shannon in Lost.) His ex wife is remarried, and he sees this as a bit of a last chance to get close to his 17 year old before she flies the nest.
Against his gut instinct he gives his permission for his daughter to go to Paris to visit museums and stay with a friends relatives. At the last minute he discovers she is actually going to follow a band around on their European tour. His wife reassures him that nothing will happen.
However, on arriving in Paris Kim and her friend attract the attention of a Libyan crime group who kidnap the girls to sell into the sex slave trade. Bryan is on the phone to Kim as she is kidnapped, and makes her a promise he will come and save her. What follows is a 72 hour fight to try and get her back before she is lost from him for good.
Bryan is a very dedicated father who will stop at NOTHING, and i really mean nothing to get his daughter back. Although we greatly enjoyed this film, we found it a little unbelievable how much fighting there was, and how handy that this man is ex-CIA so can single handedly confront the Parisian authorities and the Libyan criminal gang members while hardly breaking a sweat. This aspect was a bit unbelieveable, but did convey very well the urgency of his mission and also the lengths a parent would go to in order to try and stop something happening to their child.
Kim is so very naive, and you are left very scared for her. After watching the early scenes i was not sure how well Maggie Grace would play the victim, but she made herself seem very vulnerable and the Kim character was believable.
The only bit of the film that was a real let down to me was that the Australian actress Holly Valance was in it as well as a sideplot. She plays a famous singer, Sheerah. Bryan is providing her security at a concert, and she runs into some trouble which he saves her from. In return, she offers singing lessons for Kim. Holly Vallance is still a very beautiful woman and talented singer, but her acting is not the best, and even playing her type, she comes across poorly to me. I was left wondering what this added to the film, other than it showed Bryan as a protective father before his own daughter was kidnapped, and also provided a way for him to bond with his daughter. I think if i was editing this film, you could cut Holly out completely without making any difference to the film.
I think this is a great couple film. There was enough story and emotion to keep me hooked, enough fighting for the men, with the added good looking actors, what more could you want? Add in the fact Luc Besson is involved in the screenplay and production, and you have a hit on your hands. If you haven't seen it, even if action films really aren't your thing, then i really recommend it.
One of the best aspects about lovefilm is the lack of a deadline to get films back and it's thanks to that I've finally got to see Taken this week. We've had it since the beginning of December but through a combination of being busy and Jen not really fancying it we hadn't got round to seeing a movie I'd heard a lot of good things about. Thankfully this week though I managed to convince Jen that she really did want to see it and I finally got round to seeing a film I'd heard a lot about but still was quite unsure what to expect.
Having retired to be near his daughter, former CIA agent Bryan Mills is struggling to really connect with her and adjust to live away from the job. Now with his daughter asking for permission to go overseas he is a little dubious about whether she should be going but finally agrees, despite knowing it won't be safe for her. Sure enough within hours of landing his daughter and her friend are snatched whilst Bryan is on the phone to her. He makes a promise to the kidnapper that he will get her back and having pulled a few strings he knows he only has 96 hours to get to Paris and safe Kim before she's sold into the sex trade and lost for good.
Direction and Script
As soon as the movie started I knew I was going to love it, especially as the words written by and Luc Besson passed before my eyes. He was responsible for one of my favourite films, Leon and ever since I've been a huge fan. Once again he shows his ability to take an interesting subject, add a bit of action and some very well written, if not perhaps a tad farfetched shoot outs and you've got a very good blend for a decent action film. The script is what really makes the movie as Besson builds up the characters and their newly found happy life, only to tear it apart and have Bryan Mills come out fighting. Ok so it's probably not his best film ever but it has what you want a good action movie to have, a reasonable plot, a determined character and an ability to really get the audience on side.
With Luc Besson in the writers chair it was important to get a director who could recognise and really bring his vision to life. By handing the job to District 13 director Pierre Morel I think they made an excellent choice. He sets the right moods for each scene with the lighting and selection of locations fitting perfectly. The base for the Armenian sex traders for instance has a very dark quality to it and it's with little touches like this that Morel really excels. Of course the action side of things works as well but it's the subtle little differences and visual treats that really make the movie work.
In a movie that combines good solid action sequences and some very impressive stunt driving it is another film to join the likes of Ronin in highlighting why Paris is so good for car chase sequences. The action is at times a little farfetched as Bryan takes on whole house full's of bad guys without even suffering a scratch but it is this escapism and sense of defiance that really make the movie so enjoyable.
A Staring Role For Neeson
This is perhaps a slightly different role to the normal roles that Liam Neeson accepts but as Bryan Mills he is perfect. He plays his character with a slight air of mystery and as you follow his progress you find yourself willing him on to save his daughter. He brings a slightly Bourneesque quality to the role and as he fights and works to find the bad guys it is both intriguing and incredibly interesting to see how his character pieces it together. The opening 25 minutes of characterisation give us an insight into the kind of person Bryan wants to be, but when pushed we also get to see how good he was at his former job.
In all honesty the rest of the cast were a little bit disappointing. In fact they could have cast anyone in these roles and it wouldn't really of mattered. In the role of Mills 18 year old daughter I wasn't particularly impressed with Maggie Grace. She seemed to spend her whole time on screen bouncing around like a spoilt little girl and this type of character didn't really suit her. The bad guys of the piece were pretty disposable and came and went relatively quickly. It's a shame that the remainder of the cast, which included Holly Valance, didn't really shine but in reality they were only really there to give Neeson's character a purpose or a target.
Was I Taken
Overall I have to admit that I was. Of course the combination of a Luc Besson script with Liam Neeson in the lead role was always going to be hard not to like. At times I would have preferred the rest of the cast to be slightly more engaging but as Neeson runs around clearing things up this becomes a lot less important. Whilst it isn't a perfect movie it is a very enjoyable 93 minutes of action that doesn't require a great deal of thinking or concentration. It has a likeable lead and a good action to plot ratio that really does make it worth watching.
I watched Taken for the first time about a week ago now and was very impressed. I had though just watched Hancock previously and was only two hours into a sixteen hour bus journey. I digress. Taken is definitely at the better end of the Action/Adventure genre although having said that it is also by no means a classic. Like a lot of films in the genre (think Indiana Jones and James Bond), there is moments where you think the storyline and action is at least a little far fetched, if not massively far fetched. This was a criticism I read in a review on this film and it is one I would have to agree with. Having said that though I would prefer that to the film being boring or overly sentimental and the film is in my opinion more realistic than the films I compared it to earlier (Indiana Jones and James Bond).
Liam Neeson plays the role of the protagonist, an ex CIA operative called Bryan. He has become as a result of his job a stranger to his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and split from his now remarried wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). When Kim asks Bryan if she can go to Paris with a friend he initially refuses to let her go but eventually he changes his mind.
However, when Kim and her friend arrive in Paris they are kidnapped by Albanians and when bryan finds out he goes after them. The problem is he only has 96 hours until they will be completely untraceable. What follows is, without giving too much more away, Neeson beating up a load of criminal Albanians all over Paris in the search of the daughter.
Does he save his daughter, or not? I will let you find out, although you probably already know the answer.
Released Sept 2008
Run Time Approx 94 minutes
Directed by Pierre Morel
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
The decision as to whether I would ever see "Taken" or not was an easy one for me. I've always rated Liam Neeson as an actor and the writer, Luc Besson, has written a couple of my all-time favourite films, "Leon" and the original French version of "Taxi". Although I didn't manage to catch it at the cinema, I was fortunate enough to view it for the first time on Blu-Ray with a large screen and surround sound. Later viewings on my standard small old TV with rubbish speakers take the edge off the film a little, but it is still very enjoyable.
Bryan Mills is a former Government agent who has retired to move to L. A. And attempt to build a relationship with his daughter, who is living with his ex-wife and her new husband. His daughter, Kim, is just turning 17 and like many teenagers, would like to spend the summer abroad, in Paris. Due to his job, Bryan is not sure about allowing this and only reluctantly signs the papers to allow her to travel.
Not long after Kim and her friend Amanda arrive in Paris, Bryan's worst fears are confirmed when they are taken by a group of Albanians. Bryan vows revenge on the kidnapper and having been warned that he only has a small window of opportunity to rescue Kim, he heads straight for Paris to get his daughter back. When he gets there, however, he finds that the help he was expecting from a former colleague in the French police is not forthcoming as he is now desk bound and so Bryan has to avoid being caught by them as well as avoid being killed by the Albanians to get what he wants.
From the very first time I saw "Taken" and through multiple viewings since, I have always enjoyed it. Whilst it's essentially a simple story, that of someone taking revenge in violent ways, the way the whole thing is put together gives it an edge over any number of action films. The story, the writing, the direction and the casting are perfect for the film in a way that rarely combines so well in a single place. There is very little to criticise here, only things to praise.
The way the story is written offers a little more realism than many stories of this type. The scene is set very well early on in the film, with Bryan's devotion to his daughter evident. The scenes in which he is so careful about selecting his daughter's present and the care and attention he gives to wrapping it suggest he's a very methodical man. Early on, we also get to see a glimpse of the skills he has retained even during his retirement from Government work. This is well done as in many action films, characters suddenly seem to be able to do things that the audience wouldn't expect, but here we are able to get an early glimpse of the skills he later refers to when threatening the kidnapper with revenge. Although some suspension of disbelief may be required at how quickly he moves and finds out information, it is less than is often required in an action film. The early setting up of the relationship between Bryan and his daughter and how hard he is working on building this also offers a very credible motive for his later actions, which is again something often overlooked by the writers of action films.
The pacing of the story is very well done as well, but that is what I have come to expect from Luc Besson's writing anyway. Although there are some emotional scenes, they never seem to slow down the relentless pace of the action, being generally quite short scenes and always advancing the story. In addition, these scenes tend to be at the start of the film for scene setting, although others do crop up throughout the film where necessary. But at any point where the action does take a breather, you always know that something is about to happen. For the most part, the pace of the film is very quick and the timing of the film at around 90 minutes means that it's almost over before you know it, but it's never a film likely to outstay a welcome and there doesn't seem to be a minute of screen time wasted at any point.
The casting of the lead actor was masterful, as Liam Neeson has the perfect look for the role of Bryan Mills. Although he's quite a handsome man, he's not classically film-star perfect, so his slightly craggy features make him work well as a retired father. He is also of just the right age, managing to look under strain and world-weary, as compared to someone like Bruce Willis, who only really manages to look old and washed up these days. His voice has a rough edge to it, which adds to the menace in his threats as well as to the feeling of him as an upset and put upon father. The selection of Maggie Grace, an actress I hadn't previously heard of, as Bryan's daughter Kim also seems a wise choice, as her role requires her to play an over-excited teenager, scared, drugged and emotional throughout the film and she handles all the aspects of the role very well. Femke Janssen as Bryan's ex-wife also has to display a range of emotions and does so quite adequately as well and in the whole film there are no performances than stand out as being particularly bad, even from the minor cast.
I was also impressed by the direction of Pierre Morel, especially considering that this was only his second film as a director. He may have been assisted by having Luc Besson around, who had directed a number of films previously, but there is a good job done here. There are a number of action scenes as well as quite a few slower, more emotional scenes and he directs both with equal skill. Many director seem to specialise in either action or emotion and leave something lacking when they try to make the switch, but that never seems to be the case here.
The other thing that "Taken" has working for it is the soundtrack. Again, unusually for a film of this type, it's largely unobtrusive and when it's not, there is a reasonable explanation for this, such as when the scene is at a party. But there is no need felt here to underpin action scenes with a loud pumping up-tempo soundtrack to take the edge off the noises of people fighting, nor are the more emotional scenes met with violins and strings, as is so often the case here. It's just one more example of what "Taken" seems to do so much better than most action films and which, for me, means it's one of very few films from the genre I can watch over and over again, despite knowing exactly what is going to happen throughout.
Perhaps the one thing on this DVD that can be criticised is that the extras are a little thin on the ground compared to many current DVDs. The first is "Le Making Of", which is a 20 minute feature talking about the background to the film and exactly the kind of thing you often see on MTV or the Sky Movies channels when a film is about to come out. There are clips from the film and some behind the scenes shots, intercut with the lead actors and director talking about it. Interestingly, the actors speak English and the director French all the way through which is confusing if you're not multi-lingual. Fortunately, the subtitles can be selected for this option, so you don't miss any of what either of them are saying. That said, apart from a couple of snippets of interesting information about shooting on set and how things were done, there's not a lot here other than everyone trying to promote the film and each other and being very nice about the film in general.
Next up is the "Avant Premiere", which is again a bilingual feature requiring the subtitles to be turned on for those of us who don't speak French. Amusingly, this time around, the parts where people are speaking English are subtitles in French. It is largely shots from the premiere with interviews from the lead actor, director and writer being overly complimentary about the film and each other. There are some comments from cinema goers who were present also saying some very nice things about the film, but the feature is largely a waste of time. Fortunately, it only runs around 4 ½ minutes, so it's not a lot of time wasted.
The side by side feature is something a little different, but not all that interesting. Several scenes from the film are played with another part of the screen showing what was going on as they were shot. These are presented without any comment on them, so it doesn't do much other than show what was happening during the filming. Unfortunately, the half screen format of each section doesn't really give anyone who may be interested in seeing how these things are done a terribly good view of them. Six scenes are presented, usually the most action filled ones, with differing amounts of time on each one, but the feature as a whole only lasts around 11 minutes.
However, I love the film so much, I'm more than happy to overlook the paucity of extras and recommend it wholeheartedly. It's now three years old and I was delighted to be able to find a brand new copy in the HMV sale recently for only £3.00 and it may be available even more cheaply on eBay and places like this, if you're happy to have a second hand copy. For anyone who has ever enjoyed an action thriller, this is a film you must watch at least once, as it's a film that does everything well. I wouldn't say that this type of film is even amongst my favourite genres, but this film is individually is one of my favourites, which shows you how well it has transcended the mundane and had an impact on me personally. If you like action films, this is one of the very best and shouldn't be missed, whether you rent it or take the minimal risk of making a purchase at a low price which will provide excellent value for money.
I have had this movie recommended to me so many times since it's release that I felt I was seriously missing out on something. However, I never got round to watching it! Last night, I decided that I had to find out what I was missing and what the hype was all about so I made a cup of tea, snuggled up on the sofa and pressed play.
The start of the movie shows Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) picking out a birthday present for his daughter. When he arrives at her birthday party, it is obvious that he doesn't spend much time with his daughter and that his ex wife isn't his biggest fan. After being shown up at the party by his ex-wife's new husband, Bryan leaves.
When he returns, he is greeted by a group of old friends, my assumption is that they all used to work together, who ask him to join them on a job. The job is security at a 'Sheerah' concert (played by Holly Valance). When someone allows the fans to get backstage, Bryan comes to the rescue and gets Sheerah safely back to her hotel. After she has recovered, she offers to pay for Bryan's daughter to have vocal coaching, although this is not a major point of the story it is really annoying that he doesn't tell her until the very end!
Bryan's daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), asks him to sign a document allowing her to leave the country on her own and go to Paris for vacation. Although he is not comfortable with her travelling with another 17 year old girl, he signs the papers and lets her leave. When he does not hear from her, even though she promised she would call when she landed, he calls her to check up. They are talking when she sees a group of men come into the apartment and kidnap her friend. Being brutally honest, Bryan tells her that they are going to kidnap Kim but he will find her.
Kim is kidnapped and Bryan begins to go on a rampage looking for her.
He starts calling around old colleagues, it is soon obvious that he used to be some kind of government agent/spy type person, and they find that the group who have taken her are an Albian mafia who kidnap girls, addict them to drugs and use them for prostitution.
To say any more would give away how he goes about finding Kim so I will leave it there.
I did really enjoy Taken, it is the kind of movie that I can sit and watch over and over again and the storyline was very good. However, I don't think it is as amazing as people have made it out to be.
There were certain points in the movie that really annoyed me, little things that other people probably wouldn't question. Also, the fact that he never told Kim about the vocal coaching drove me insane!
Despite this, the acting in the movie is incredible and there are some great action scenes.
I am going to give it 5 starts because I did enjoy it, I just thought it would be a little better because of the reviews I have heard.
WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!
This movie was recommended to me by a work colleague a long while ago, but it was only when I was walking through Asda not long after, I found it on sale for £5! I thought I would buy it on the chance that if I was ever stuck for something to do one evening, I could stick it on. When I finally got around to watching it, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least!!
Liam Neeson is the star here and he plays a character called Bryan Mills, a one time CIA intelligence agent and current bodyguard, whose daughter Kim, and her friend Amanda, are kidnapped in Paris by a rogue group of Albanian sex traffickers. The rest of the film then follows Mills as he tries to track down and save his daughter before it is too late....
I have to say I really, really enjoyed this film against my all expectations. My pre-film thoughts were that Liam Neeson was just going to show up and go through the motions in a pedestrian action-thriller but boy I like to be proved wrong! It had some of the best action scenes that I have seen in recent years. The film starts with Mills being such a caring, loving and overprotective father. He is a complex character and he is almost ashamed of having missed most of his daughter's childhood due to his demanding career. I think the calmness and normality in his life leads to much of the shock when we, the audience, realise what a bad-ass he really is. Most of that training from the CIA is almost suppressed (not entirely as we witness a scene in which he is employed as a bouncer) However, this background leads him to becoming very overprotective of his daughter and when we encounter this in the film we know something significant is going to happen (although it is no big surprise given the movie title!)
What follows the kidnapping is some slick action that tries its hardest to stay on the side of believable (there are some plotholes such as the ability of Mills to leave Paris so easily.....I mean have you seen the bodycount he left behind him??!!) If you can ignore these, the film does what it sets out to do....entertain!
The film also sheds a scary light on the issue of human trafficking. It shows some very graphic scenes throughout, as this is the reason why his daughter was abducted in the first place. This is a very serious issue that I think is addressed and definitely brings a stark reality to proceedings.
There are a few weaknesses to the film which prevent it from getting full marks in my opinion. I think they could have spent a little more time developing the characters, most importantly Kim. One of the big letdowns for me personally is that when she is kidnapped in the movie, we know virtually nothing about her - she has had virtually no screen time so why should we care if she gets abducted?? Plus her friend Amanda is downright annoying. If the action wasn't so good, would we really, really care if she was actually rescued? The issue here is with the script and maybe an extra ten to fifteen minutes of character building would have sufficed. Another minor annoyance are some of the plot holes mentioned above.....but I can overlook all of the above and see the gleaming positives.
Overall: this is a recommendation. Watch as Liam Neeson destroys all within his path......you have been warned!! You can pick it up fairly cheap now in most outlets (recently found it retailing at a meagre £4) Definitely worth a watch.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing the film Taken it seems most people don't. I don't think it made it to the cinemas in the UK and I didn't here anything about the DVD release, it just appeared one day. But I can honestly say it's a brilliant film, much better than most of the films at the cinemas getting the now meaningless title of Blockbuster. The fact that this film is so good kind of makes me mad at the advertising department of this film.
Liam Neeson is obviously an amazing actor and he totally owns the show here, he single handedly kept the film moving. Liam fits the bill as the vengeful dad searching for his daughter, and being such a tall towering man he does create a very intimidating man to come up against.
I liked the plot it was good mix of drama and action and allowed for a steady pace to be set with great action scenes mixed in. The locations were good and made a change from being set in New York or LA.
The film is on a single disc with a "making of" and a featurette on the action sequences. This is well worth watching despite the fact you've never heard of it.
As a huge Liam Neeson fan, I was keen to see a film called 'Taken' which stars Mr Neeson, and for which I had heard some glowing reports.
Taken is the story of a retired CIA agent, Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) who is trying quite hard to build a meaningful relationship with his teenage daughter Kim, following the break down of his marriage to Kim's mother. Bryan is extremely over-protective of Kim and allows some of the disturbing things he has seen in his career with the CIA to influence his decisions when it comes to parenting.
When Kim decides she wants to go on a trip to Paris with her friend, she asks her father to sign a consent form which he refuses to do, claiming it would be unsafe for Kim. He eventually gives in to emotional pressure from both Kim and his estranged wife however, and signs the consent form.
What happens when Kim arrives in Paris remains a bit of a mystery to Bryan but the few facts he does have form a very sinister puzzle when placed together. Kim and her friend have been abducted, seemingly by a group of foreign men, and from the little information he has, Bryan decides he must travel to Paris to track down his daughter and bring her home.
Will Bryan be able to trace the girls? What has happened to them? And why have they been 'Taken'?...
* MY OPINION *
I thoroughly enjoyed this film from start to finish, as did my partner. I found the storyline to be very gripping and it kept me engaged from the start. As with all good thrillers, I found that I was literally pinned to the edge of my seat as the action and drama of the story unfolded before me.
Liam Neeson did a fantastic job in his role as always. He came across as a fairly over-protective father whilst delivering the correct amount of ass-kicking that his CIA agent role required. I found he was completely engaging and believable and it was a pleasure to watch him in this role. He brought a certain sarcastic humorous side to the role of Bryan, with a perfect balance of wit and cynicism. Both my partner and myself were impressed with the amount of 'physical' scenes that Liam had to undertake. I don't want to give too much away, but suffice to say that there were several scenes involving Liam Neeson that required extreme physical strength and stamina... Not bad for an actor approaching his 60's...
The supporting cast did well in their respective roles, but to be honest the main focus of the movie was on Bryan's character and the main storyline followed this character for the most part. I didn't feel that I lost out on anything by the movie being told mostly from Bryan's perspective, but it didn't really give me enough of a chance to build much feeling or sentiment towards any of the other characters.
Bryan's daughter Kim is played by Maggie Grace and I thought she did well in her role, making the situation quite believable and ensuring her fear and vulnerability came across to the audience enough to stir sympathy towards the character whilst fearing for her safety.
The storyline on the whole was very well written and I found it easy to follow, even though foreign languages are used at several points through the film. Albanian and French are used in several places but I didn't find this to be off-putting, nor did it distract me from the storyline.
The film is rated a certificate 18, and I did think this was appropriate given the scenes of drug use, sexual content, violence, torture and the language used. There is one torture scene in the second half of the movie that I found a bit unpleasant to watch, but it didn't ruin any aspect of the film for me and I'd still fully recommend the film, just not for a younger audience!
In conclusion, I found Taken to be a fully engaging film, with a thrilling and gripping storyline and a very capable cast who delivered these elements with excellent skill and timing. The whole 90 minutes of the movie were completely captivating and the action-packed story kept us glued to the screen throughout.
I would award Taken full Dooyoo marks, and thoroughly recommend giving it a watch. The DVD that I borrowed did not have any bonus features or material as such, but there was a few options on the menu such as subtitles etc. The DVD is available to buy from www.amazon.co.uk for only £5.99 (new) and prices are around £3 for a used copy.
Well worth a watch! Thoroughly recommended for fans of action and thriller types of movies.
This movie is a must see for anyone that loves an action flick! From the moment this one started, I was on the edge of my seat. Everything in this movie is excellent!
The plot line of the movie evolves well, doing an excellent job at introducing the characters and their relations with each other. You learn that the main character Bryan and his ex-wife have a child, Kim. Due to Bryan's work past, he was rarely around for her and their daughter. Now that Bryan is retired, he is trying to rekindle a relationship with his daughter.
The plot opens when Kim needs to have papers signed by her father to go on a vacation overseas since she is only 17. He signs them under a few conditions, gives her an international cell phone, and takes her to the airport. When Kim arrives in Paris, this is where she is "taken", and the movie really begins.
The acting in this movie is excellent. Liam Nesson really plays the part well and adds an excellent amount of drama to this action film.
Although the movie is only 90 minutes, it fits everything you need into it. There are not any parts of this movie that are drawn out, so it is 90 minutes of action and heart-pumping drama,
I would suggest watching this movie to anyone looking for something with great acting, a great story, and lots of action!