In 'Taken', People Suffer the Wrath of Schindler's Fist

Taken:  4 out of 5

(Another older review that I find fitting to put up on the blog, given the release of a new Liam Neeson action movie)

Bryan: I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are 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.

Before starting the review, I must point out (with acknowledgment that my friend gets credit for coming up with this) that the title of this movie, to me, is now: Schindler's Fist.

Liam Neeson stars in a sweet action flick from famed French writer/producer Luc Besson. Besson knows how to make both the sophisticated action film - Leon: The Professional and the quick and entertaining - The Transporter. Here we have the quick and entertaining, but it certainly is those things and it is certainly about having Neeson kicking ass and taking names, with me actually caring to see the eventual 'unrated' version.

Liam Neeson stars as Bryan, a retired spy, hoping to form a better relationship with his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), who he didn't get to spend as much time as he would have wanted to as she was growing up. Following her 17th birthday, Kim informs her dad that she is going to Paris with a friend. Reluctantly, Neeson agrees to let her go (It is here that I need to point out that watching this film, it seems more clear that Kim may in fact be a mentally challenged twenty something, pretending to be a teenager).  Of course, daddy knew best, as Kim is almost immediately kidnapped, upon her arrival in Paris. Bad news for those who have taken her however, because Bryan knows how to find these people, and he'll stop at nothing to do so.

Jean Claude: Ok, first we should find the spotter.
Bryan: I found him, he's dead.
Jean Claude: You found him that way?!...
Jean Claude: Graham, you can't just run around tearing down Paris..
Bryan: [cuts him off abruptly] Jean Claude, I'll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to!

One thing that stands out is how one can easily see that its an international action flick and not an American one. The violence is brutal (obviously toned down for the PG-13), and it doesn't shy away from having Neeson kill people, oppose to just injuring them. There are a number of scenes that just don't get produced in American produced action flicks, which makes this flick all the better. There is literally a point where the film makes you believe anything can go.

That being said, it takes its time to get there. While short, you certainly have to deal with the bland setups involving Neeson and his daughter, and his especially bitchy ex-wife, played by Famke "I just stood there and looked real moody in X3" Janssen. However, once Neeson packs his stuff and gets going, its pretty much nonstop Rob Roy coolness (By the way, Rob Roy is an awesome epic that got overshadowed by Braveheart at the time, bust should be seen by more people).

Director Pierre Morel, who previously made the very cool District B13, doesn't push any boundaries on action scenes, they are all very Bourne-ish, but they certainly work as they are fun and brutal. He is certainly on his way to making more competent action movies.

The key in this film is Neeson. Liam Neeson's monologue seen in all the trailers is certainly what brings you to see this movie, and what's better is that he delivers. You believe what he's saying and the film certainly keeps his character believable, despite how over-the-top things may be. Neeson keeps things grounded with his determination and effectiveness.

Taken is an all around sweet and simple action flick, especially after the disappointing Bond and Transporter flick from earlier months.

Bryan: [after electrocuting Marko] You either give me what I need or this switch will stay on until they turn the power off for lack of payment on the bill.


Popular Posts

Sex, Drugs, Car Chases – It’s Not High School, It’s ’21 Jump Street’

‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’ Tears Through The Floors And Hits Rock Bottom

Out Now Bonus: Aaron And His Mom Discuss ‘The Babadook’

The Evil Dead Drinking Game

The ‘Tides’ For These ‘Pirates’ Are Not ‘Stranger’, They’re Duller

Search This Blog