Pierre Morel's TAKEN
Review by Dennis McDonald
This movie is silly, prepostrous, and nonsensical. The plot has more holes than the strainer I use Sunday mornings to defrost frozen blueberries when I bake muffins.
I loved it.
Liam Neeson plays a retired government agent whose teenage daughter is kidnapped in Paris in anticipation of her being sold into slavery to a Middle Eastern sheik by a gang of Albanian thugs. He warns them by phone to free her or he will use his “special skills” to hunt them down and kill them.
Fortunately for viewers the kidnappers don’t free her, Neeson jumps on a plane to Paris, and the hunt — and rising body count — are on. Along the way we have car chases, shoot outs, brothels staffed by heroine addicted young women, explosions, government corruption in high places, and a hero knowledgeable about all weapons as well as emergency medical procedures.
Even though the film was mostly produced and directed in France it seems more American than French. Neeson does quite well as the super-agent; he really does make you suspend your disbelief through a judicious application of sincerity and seriousness. I hope he had fun making the film; he’s on screen for almost the entire time.
One bizarre thing about the film; it was rated PG-13 not R in the U.S. Even though I think the DVD edition I rented from Netflix contained the somewhat more violent version released in Europe, I’m amazed that a film so dedicated to nonstop violence doesn’t get an R rating. I guess there just wasn’t enough sex to upset the MPAA reviewers.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald