Movie Review Rewind: Taken (2008)
Taken is different than other action movies. It has emotion in a mostly adrenaline-driven plot, but also contains an unlikely action hero: Liam Neeson. The story is about Bryan Mills (Neeson) who gave up his job as a “preventer” for the government to be closer to his daughter (Maggie Grace). This is the emotion part of the story. He loves his daughter and his job has made him miss a lot of time being with her. So, he moves to be closer to her and tries to make up for lost time.
So when his daughter wants to go to Paris, he does not like the idea. But his daughter eventually gets her way and soon after she gets there, her and her friend are taken. But right before its too late, she is able to make one phone call. The call is to her father who sets out on a mission to get her back and only has 96 hours to do it. If he does not, he will never see her again.
Back to Neeson for a minute. He is a terrific actor and is known to be more dramatic. He has been in Kinsey, Gangs of New York, and Schindler’s List. So the thought of him being a Jason Bourne-type figure is tough to grasp…until you see him in action. He brings a freshness to this overexposed genre. There is something about him that makes you believe he can really kick ass and he’s damn good at it. Once he knows his daughter is taken, the movie never stops. Before you know it, Bryan is in Paris trying to piece together the puzzle. One guy leads to another and another. Taken is a race against time and Bryan has no time to waste.
Director Pierre Morel keeps the story simple, but tries to bring depth to the characters. Most of those scenes are leading up to his daughter going to Paris. Though, the heart of this thriller beats because of the non-stop action. Taken has more credit in what it is trying to accomplish because of Neeson. He becomes an action star without over-hyping or over-exaggerating his performance. This movie works on all levels and I give most of the credit to Neeson.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter @SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.