Taken (2009)

From La Femme Nikita to District B13, the French know how to make a rollicking action movie, and Taken is no different. Liam Neeson plays a former covert government agent who has his daughter (Maggie Grace) kidnapped by the Parisian sex trade. He tells his daughters abductors to let his daughter go, and if they don’t he will find them and he will kill them. “Good luck,” says the abductor. And we’re off! At this point, the movie completely had me and I was ready to watch Oscar Schindler kick all kinds of ass. Having an actor of Neeson’s caliber involved in the rigorous derring-do helps ground the fantastic coincidences and leaps of logic inherent with an action movie. The action is briskly paced (the movie barely clocks in at 91 minutes) and fairly consistent, though I admit that the movie never felt like it was building in intensity, only changing locations. There’s some lip-service paid to topical issues like sex trafficking, but really Taken is all about watching Neeson karate chop dudes in the neck, which he does a lot. I started fearing for the safety of my own neck, like Neeson would jump out of the shadows and give my neck a good punch. You may need to shut your brain off at parts, but Taken is an undeniably fun experience and I look forward to the inevitable sequels (Neeson: “What, something else has been taken… from me!”). Taken is a rock-solid action movie with plenty of terrific and thrilling set pieces that pack more punch than plenty of expensive Hollywood summer capers.

Nate’s Grade: B

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About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at PictureShowPundits.com (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on January 22, 2009, in 2009 Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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