Action thriller, Taken, directed by Pierre Morel and starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace is about Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) a divorced, ex-CIA agent whose daughter is kidnapped by sex-traffickers in Paris. Mills, decides to take justice into his own hands in order to bring his daughter home and goes on a rampage against high-flying villains.from£1.68 | RRP:
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DISTRICT B13 director Pierre Morel calls the shots for this action-driven thriller Liam Neeson (KINSEY MICHAEL COLLINS) stars as a father who takes justice into his own hands when his daughter (Maggie Grace THE FOG) is kidnapped TAKEN also stars Famke Janssen (GOLDENEYE LORD OF ILLUSIONS)
Fast-paced, violent revenge thriller written and produced by Luc Besson. Liam Neeson stars as Bryan Mills, a former CIA secret agent living in the US who is forced to resurrect the skills he learned in his old job after his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped by Albanian sex slave traffickers while travelling with a friend in Europe. As Bryan consults his former colleagues for advice on the situation, statistics show that the Albanian criminals rarely keep their prisoners alive for more than four days, giving Bryan a tight timeframe in which to save his daughter's life. The cast also includes Famke Janssen, Xander Berkeley and Katie Cassidy.
Average Rating for Taken  - 3 out of 5
(based on 4 user reviews)
This is one of those films that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole movie, from the minute it came on I was hooked. Liam Neeson plays a fab role, his best movie ever I think and I'm a big fan of his work. I give this film a 5 star rating, definitely one to watch.
Taken Barnaby Walter
French cinema offers up a Hollywood-style action smash up with this Liam Neeson vehicle, which carries the message "Paris is full of dangerous, girl-kidnapping men who desperately need to be smashed up, snapped and shot at". Whether you agree with this statement or not, after seeing Taken depends whether you like revenge movies. To be specific, Taken is not technically a revenge movie, it just happens to dole out vengeance in large chunks.
After retired government agent Bryan (Neeson) finishes choosing his 17 year old daughter's karaoke machine birthday present (which he wraps up with the same care as he would stitch up a wounded kitten), he finally realises he has taken a backseat in her life. To be fair, her kindly step dad is the kind of man who gives her ponies and posh parties for her birthday. However, her affection for her biological dad is clear, especially when she convinces him (through lying and manipulation) to let her go to Paris with her blasé tramp-like friend. His consenting to this dodgy expedition is clothed in conditions including calling as soon as she lands and not to go to grotty areas like Paris's red light district. Predictably, within their first few minutes of breathing fresh French air they are chatted up by a grinning 20-something creep and kidnapped by Albanians. It's a good thing that Daddy Neeson is prepared to indulge in excessive levels of killing to save his daughter from the sex traffickers, who plan to hook the girls on drugs, and then sell them for thousands.
Throughout the killing, killing and more killing you admire Neeson's skill in giving his flawed character (bullets magically seem to miss him, but his shots hit home first go) a sense of credibility. The whole film is ridiculous enjoyable nonsense that lacks the poignancy needed between the action for us to actually feel worried for the girls in peril, but keeps adrenalin levels pumping high with the aid of a number of surprising moments. The ending is a tad unsatisfactory (the one last big bang turns into an arms folded "I've done what I came to do" moment) but doesn't jar too alarmingly to knock the film off its hinges. The moral of the story: listen to the Irish accented American hero, and believe him when he tells you that Europe is a bad, bad place, Paris is the worst and it's best to stay home in cosy, crime free California.
Taken Robin Etherington
Luc Besson famously stated that he would only direct ten movies, which as an admirer of his cinematic vision was a bit of a disappointment. However, with Angela as his official tenth, and a sci-fi trilogy currently in the works, it appears increasingly likely that his grand proclamation will never come to pass. But with the thoroughly enjoyable, if vapid, Taxi and Banlieue 13 series to his writing and producing credit, Besson had already proved that he was just as comfortable limiting himself to the roles of script writer and producer. And that was before he delivered Taken.
Dispensing with his usual energetic flair for the amusingly ridiculous, Taken proves to be a master class in raw knuckle action as ex-government agent, Bryan (Liam Neeson), heads to Paris in a desperate bid to find his kidnapped daughter, and punish those responsible for her disappearance. And you can't help but wonder whether it was the 'punishing' aspect of this synopsis that drew Neeson to the role in the first place. Although he retains a degree of brooding, sympathetic weakness that has characterised some of his previous mainstream roles, Bryan is a man who dispenses violence with mesmerising ease. After an initial, peaceful establishing act, the film aggressively changes gear, and Bryan single-handedly attempts to burn Paris to the ground. Liam has demonstrated his action chops before (Gangs of New York, Kingdom of Heaven, Batman Begins) but you've never seen him like this. Unrelentingly brutal, with little regard for human life, Bryan could be mistake for the criminal fraternity he proceeds to incinerate. Neeson shoots, punches, kicks and stabs his way through an army of amoral underworld cadavers, and yet somehow manages to embody this apocalyptic character with enough compassion that you forgive him almost anything.
And forgive you must, for this is not a film without flaws. Strained accents, a short running time, Holly Valance (!), leaps of reason and leaps from bridges all threaten to derail the project. Likewise the abundant violence will not be to everyone's taste. Thankfully the purity of the director's vision, coupled with Besson's bare bones storytelling, should keep even the most jaded of viewers glued to the screen.
It is a rare treat to discover a genuinely gripping action thriller. It is rarer still to find one helmed by an Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe nominated actor. If you missed this in the cinema, purchase instantly!
Taken L Still
Taken is without doubt one of the most farfetched action films I've seen in a long time, but it still manages to be thoroughly enjoyable. Liam Neeson plays a bodyguard who used to have some kind of career in the military, which is never fully explained but is an excuse for him to have the kind of Bond-meets-Bauer-meets-Bourne skill set required of any modern action hero. His daughter wants to go to Paris with a gal-pal, but he's worried that she won't be safe. Of course she won't. It's no secret that her trip won't go according to plan, indeed the film's very title tells us what happens next. Fortunately, after a brief phone call with his daughter, he manages to use shards of evidence to find a lead and hightails it to France in hot pursuit.
The ensuing plot, flirting with themes of prostitution and human trafficking, could be quite dank and gritty, but the whole affair feels comparatively light, thanks in large part to a number of wildly over-the-top action sequences which mostly result in the deaths of dozens of henchmen. The film is violent - alarmingly so, but to a degree that it's almost cartoonish. Watching in the cinema, a few scenes were met with laughter when they probably shouldn't have been.
A special mention has to go to Neeson's American accent, which falls into the 'Nice try, better luck next time' category. One particularly entertaining scene involves him lecturing a roomful of Frenchmen about being 'foreign' while sounding very Irish himself.
To be fair, the film covers no new ground. It's predictable stuff and there are a number of reasons why it shouldn't work, but it just does. It's solid, thoroughly entertaining popcorn fodder from start to finish. It succeeds because it has no pretences about what it is: a balls-out action thriller. I'd choose this over Quantum of Solace any day.
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