DVD Review: Taken

>I’ve been wanting to see Taken starring Liam Neeson ever since it came out. It looked like the kind of story I would enjoy. On Black Friday, Wal-mart had the DVD for $5, so I bought it, and Tim and I watched it on Saturday. The DVD has two versions, and we chose to watch the theatrical release version.

This movie reminded me of the movies I enjoyed when I was in my 20s, back in the 1980s. Yeah, I’m getting old. The plot is simple. Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a retired intelligence agent who is trying to spend more time with his 17-year-old daughter Kim. No matter what he does, his ex-wife and her rich new husband seem to overshadow him. When Kim asks for his permission to go to France for the summer with her 19-year-old friend Amanda, Bryan is concerned. He knows how dangerous the world is, especially for two girls traveling alone. Kim gets angry and upset, and the ex-wife is mad, so he gives in, but he buys Kim an international cell phone and asks her to call him at every step of the way.

When Kim and Amanda arrive in France, Kim realizes that Amanda wasn’t entirely honest with her, and she’s starting to get a little worried. She forgot to call her dad when the plane landed, and he calls her, and she starts to tell him her concerns when several men break into the apartment and grab Amanda. Bryan gives her some instructions, and she is able to get him a little bit of information about the men before they abduct her, too. One of the kidnappers picks up the phone and Bryan warns him that he will come after them if they don’t let his daughter go. The man says, “Good luck,” and then smashes the phone.

From that point on, Bryan has one goal, and that’s to find and save his daughter. He uses his old contacts in the U.S. and Paris, as well as the skills he gained in years of covert work for the government. He is warned that he’ll have 96 hours, at most, to locate his daughter before she disappears forever, and that countdown clock is in his mind all the time.

One thing I really liked about this movie is that Bryan doesn’t pull punches. These are bad guys he’s after, and he doesn’t hesitate to fight, torture or kill them to get the information he needs. All the time, we’re wondering if he will be able to get to Kim in time.

It’s not a long film, just under an hour and a half. The ending seemed a bit abrupt; maybe it’s because I’m used to all the “twist endings” and fake-out endings that are common nowadays. I wonder if they could have taken another 10-15 minutes to develop the characters of Kim and Bryan a little more, but then again, I’m not sure it needed it.

If you like action movies, especially movies like Die Hard and other movies from the ’80s, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

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About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have three cats and a husband.
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