release date: 30 January 2009 (Canada)
run time: 93 mins
considered: Action, Crime, Thriller
director: Pierre Morel
starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Holly Valance, Katie Cassidy, Xander Berkeley, Olivier Rabourdin, Gerard Watkins, Leland Orser, Arben Bajraktaraj, Radivoje Bukvic, Mathieu Busson
movie summary: Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is a retired CIA agent that has spent his whole career performing dirty deeds all over the world thanks an extraordinary skill set he has. When his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) takes a trip over to Europe to follow a rock group band on tour, she unexpectedly gets kidnapped forcing Bryan to fly overseas and put his skills to the test.
my thoughts: Taken was one of those rare movies of 2008 that turned out better anyone could have expected. Liam Neeson’s career was on a short two-year hiatus but his career has skyrocketed again since he debuted as Bryan Mills. No one would have ever believed that Neeson could pull out the anger and fighting skills associated with being a retired CIA agent but he pulls it off flawlessly. Since the release of Taken Neeson has taken a few more bad ass rolls like Taken 2, The Grey, and Non-Stop. His character Bryan Mills provided movie goers with something they have yet to see before and any copy cats owe credit to Neeson and the writers for putting so much attitude behind their character.
The whole storyline of the movie appears to be far-fetched and unrealistic but the desperation expressed by Neeson makes you forget all about that. He travels all around Europe looking for his daughter and will kill anyone who gets in his way. The movie is a race against time and any dad out there could related to his emotions. Like most teenage girls they believe the world is a harmless place, they hate the fact their parents protect them, and they will never be allowed to grow up without experiencing stuff on their own. Kim finds out the hard way that life is not pretty and there are in fact bad people out there who do horrible things to other people.
There are not a lot of retired CIA agents out there with daughters who get kidnapped which leaves Bryan in a certain category all on his own. Any dad would be as reckless and uncaring as they sacrifice their lives in order to protect their little girl.
my final thoughts: Taken is a phenomenal movie that needs to be watched at least once to understand the magnitude behind the story and it’s characters. It’s jammed pack with action, fight sequences, mind games, and gun shoot outs. This movie should please people who love thrilling action movies played out on an international stage.
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb: 7.9 out 10
rottentomatoes: 58% out 100%
roger ebert: 2.5 out 4
richard crouse: 3 out 5