11: Taken (a straightforward movie title)

Taken – January 30, 2009
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Written by: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by: Pierre Morel

The plot: A former spy relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been forced into the slave trade. – IMDB

My thoughts: Let’s get real, that plot plus Liam Neeson? You know that for two hours you’re just going to see Liam kick the shit out of anyone who gets in the way of him rescuing his daughter. But this movie coming from Luc Besson (in my opinion, one of the best in action movies that involve lots of combat with actual plot), you know there’s going to be more to it than just ass-kicking – though there will be that.

One of my favorite scenes in the whole movie is actually when his daughter is taken. She’s staying in a ritzy apartment and is looking across the apartment through a window, on the phone with her dad, when she sees her friend being grabbed by three guys. It added so much tension with her reacting to what’s happening and not making a ton of sense while her father is mentally right there but can’t do anything to stop what’s about to happen.

Perhaps one of the most dreadful moments is when he tells her to go to a bedroom and crawl under the bed. Then he says, “The next part is very important…they’re going to take you.” He tells her to leave the phone on and shout out everything that she sees about the men taking her. And then, when one of the kidnappers picks up the phone, like a badass, Liam Neeson says “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you want, if you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have, are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you, but if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

And the guy on the other line was clearly a dumbass because he ended the call by saying “Good luck.” Not such a good idea, sir.

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I anticipated it being dumb and cliched and completely overdone, but Besson and Kamen brought a fresh look at the typical revenge/trained spy plot. Plus, Liam Neeson is a silver fox.

Stars: 4/5

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