Sunday, May 25, 2008

Movie Review: TAKEN

Taken is the story of an overprotective father. Perhaps the MOST overprotective father in the world. (Or is he not protective enough???) Liam Neeson is the father, a former CIA agent who has called it quits being an all-around bad-ass to be closer to his teenage daughter. His daughter, who by most accounts is a normal 17 year old girl in 2008 who wants to go to Europe and to follow U2 around (Since most 17 year old girls simply cannot get enough of The Edge. This simply does not make any sense. The only explanation must be that the movie was either written 15 years ago, or Liam and Bono must be friends. I'm leaning towards the latter.) Well after much feet dragging by the spy-dad, he finally agrees with the condition: YOU MUST CALL ME AT THE AIRPORT WHEN YOU GET INTO PARIS. The daughter agrees. Okay no problem. Except when daughter lands in Paris, she FORGETS TO CALL HOME. Uh oh. She goes on to meet a nice French boy, they split a cab into the city. She only remembers to call when she is BEING KIDNAPPED! (or TAKEN) Well, Liam doesn't pine to this. So he grabs his old spy briefcase with the passports and the stacks of different currency and heads to the city of light. Gay Paris. Where he proceeds to kick everyone's ASS. And I do mean, everyone. My god. No one has killed this many French people since Jerry Lewis. Its ridiculous.

The rest of the movie plays like a video game. With Super-dad Liam tracking and killing the easy French bad guys. Then moving up to the tougher Albanians. Facing down a mini-boss or two. Now all these these guys are really bad. Like terrible. They are selling girls into sex slave rings. And they speak French. So you don't mind that Liam is killing them without a blink of mercy. And a lot of them. The body count is video game high. In dispatching the baddies Liam displays a flurry of savage military kung-fu techniques. His specialty: the devastating throat chop.

It ends (SPOILER ALERT) he finally traces his daughter down and kills the ultimate big boss: a fat Arab sheik of some kind. He puts one in Arab's 3rd eye and its over. Leaving a only one line i wish he would've said to his daughter:



This hearkens back to the 3 V's of good old fashioned 80's action films:

Violent. Vengeful. Vicious.

And Liam is as good or better as any younger action star. Though its been a while since we've seen him in a good action movie. Remember how awesome he was in "DARKMAN"?

Its a shame, cause he never was pretty enough to be James Bond. But he would have been a great one. Big, intense, intimatating. And yet with the range to be a gentle father. This is your chance to see Liam Neeson in a Bond type role. (a quick look at IMDB confirms he was considered for 1995's GOLDENEYE, but obviously not chosen)

My verdict: Catch it!

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