Taken

Yes, it is a formulaic action thriller the likes of James Bond and Jason Bourne, but it’s cool to see Liam Neeson (Byran Mills) in a role like this.  Besides, who doesn’t like James Bond and Jason Bourne flicks?

Mills is an ex-government operative who retired to be near his seventeen-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) because he missed much of her life. His ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) argues with him every step of the way, but she and Kim convince him to sign authorization papers to allow Kim to travel to Paris with her friend Amanda–alone. Mills is quite reluctant to allow his precious daughter to go, but he agrees as long as Kim will keep in touch with him. Right after her arrival in Paris, Kim fails to call Mills, and when he finally gets her on the phone, Kim witnesses Amanda fighting with strange men who have entered the apartment.

Mills only has a 96-hour window to save his daughter, and he pulls all of his resources together to do so.

The film is fast-paced once Kim is taken by an Albanian sex trafficking ring, and that scene alone is heart-pounding when Mills speaks to one of the men on the phone: “I don’t know who you are, but if you don’t let my daughter go, I will find you, I will kill you.” Of course, there’s quite a bit more to that line, which is intense as hell. “I don’t have any money, but what I do have are a certain set of skills that enable me to find men like you.” And the intensity does not stop there. Once Mills arrives in Paris, it is non-stop action, go, go, go. The film is quite alive with violence, car chases, and great fight scenes. All of which I absolutely love.

My favorite part of the film, however, was the fact that there were no over-the-top stunts. I fully expected Mills to drive a car onto a boat, but he didn’t, and it was awesome. Why, you may ask? Simply because it makes the scene more realistic.

Luc Besson is the producer and co-writer of this film, who directed the films The Professional and La Femme Nikita. Some call the film “clichéd and predictable,” but aside from the obvious outcome, the film is far from predictability, in my opinion, and there are a few surprises.

If you like action and suspense, this film is a great one to see.

1 Jinx (look at my Jinx guidelines to the left)

(On a personal note, I found the whole sex trafficking thing amusing because I recently wrote a scene in one of my novels where such a thing takes place, though it is not the center of the story.)

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