Taken – The Liam Neeson Show

Taken – The Liam Neeson Show

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  1. If you have seen the French film District B13 (2004), then you know how epic the action is in it. If you haven’t, then watch it because it is non-stop action that will literally blow your mind. The reason this is important is because the same director/writer team (Pierre Morel and Luc Besson) are responsible for the 2008 American action thriller starring Liam Neeson, Taken. While it didn’t win any Golden Globes or Oscars, it is widely known as “badass” and was commercially successful enough to garner a sequel… although that doesn’t mean much these days.

    What is it about?

    If you have seen the trailers, you know the plot. For those that haven’t, here’s all you really need to know:

    Bryan (Liam Neeson) is a retired CIA operative whose daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped while on a trip that Bryan did not want her to go on. Her captors plan to sell her into sex slavery but Bryan plans to do whatever it takes to stop them… killing many, many people along the way.

    Is it any good?

    The action is amazing. Fight scenes abound and Liam Neeson handles them like the seasoned vet that he is. The camera work is shaky enough to add excitement while still allowing you to see every cringe-inducing blow.  The editing is also spectacular throughout the film.

    The story is good enough as it is really just a vehicle to carry the fight scenes. The emotional stakes are high with Bryan being willing to risk his life to save his daughter even though he hasn’t always been there for her. There are also some big leaps in logic and some things magically fall into place for Bryan that make the film a bit unbelievable. It’s also unbelievable that Bryan survives all the shootouts and such that he gets involved in throughout the film.

    Ultimately, the film is worth watching just for two showpiece scenes (that just so happen to occur back-to-back). The first is when Bryan interrogates one of the leaders of the group that captured his daughter. The dialogue is great and the torture that ensues is as intense as anything you’ll see in a PG-13 film (and some R-rated films). Then, the scene where Bryan confronts his friend-turned-dirty-cop. This takes place at the dinner table and involves the cop’s clueless wife adding comedy and intensity.

    Nolan’s Grade:  B

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    SIDENOTE: Try and do your own body count while you watch it. It’s tough, but a fun game. And, if you watch it on blu ray, you can turn on the “black ops field manual” feature that gives you “killed” and “injured” counts while also logging how far Bryan travels throughout the film and gives you interesting factoids about life as a black ops agent. 

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