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Action -Shoot-em Ups

Taken (2008)

Duration1h 30m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 15 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorPierre Morel
Writers/ScriptLuc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
StarringLiam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Katie Cassidy, Famke Janssen, Olivier Rabourdin
RatingsIMDb: 7.8/10 by 598,058 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 59% by 177 reviewers. Review2view: 6.5/10.

Elevator Pitch: When his seventeen year old daughter, Kim, is abducted in Paris by Albanian human traffickers ex-CIA man Bryan Mills goes on the warpath to get her back. He is advised that unless he can find her within 96 hours he will never see her again. Using the little evidence available to him, a description provided by his daughter as she is dragged away, the sim card from her phone and the name of the gang leader provided by his ex-CIA friends he starts at the bottom and makes his way up the food chain towards the bosses of the organisation. At a makeshift brothel in a construction site he finds his daughter’s denim jacket, rescues the girl holding it and gets the address of the gang’s holding location. But can he be in time?

Content: No sex or nudity but the whole theme of the film is that of young women abducted for sex, so there are scenes of prostitution and brothels. Also the abducted women are drugged, Kim’s friend Amanda killed – alarmingly. As well as evidence to drug taking there is some social drinking. Bryan is divorced his wife having remarried a very rich man, and we see Bryan go to his daughter’s party where his gift is outshone by that of the stepfather, a pony (a wonderful animal obviously).  Then once Bryan is in Paris he goes about killing people and generally creating mayhem.

A View: This is quite a famous film, changing Liam Neeson’s career path and I was surprised that I had not seen it. I admit that I am a Luc Besson fan, but despite this outing’s popularity (it made a lot of money) it did not have quite the crispness of some of his other work. And I could not help noticing that once Bryan is in Paris he makes a strategic error which was quite unlike him, but extended the length of the drama. I would have marked it up a bit more had innocent bystanders not been injured and killed.  So, a watch if you like that sort of thing.

Other films featuring extreme violence reviewed on this site include: Hitman, Max Payne and John Wick

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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