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September 29, 2017

Taken (2008) --- "Dad Threatens Kidnappers With Death For Taking Daughter."

Plot Summary
 Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), a former government operative, is trying to reconnect with his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). Then his worst fears become real when sex slavers abduct Kim and her friend shortly after they arrive in Paris for vacation. With just four days until Kim will be auctioned off, Bryan must call on every skill he learned in black ops to rescue her. (1)

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Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing thematic material, sexual content, some drug references, and language. Recommended for ages 20 and up.

Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     It is understandable that some audiences were skeptical or proceeded with caution before they say this film. BUT Taken has proven to be a violent yet great action thriller of 2008. Now the movie does have a similar, predictable plot to most action thrillers but even then the journey is amazing to see. Taken (2008) also covers a very real world problem, the kidnapping of young women in order to turn use them as prostitutes and make them drug addicts as well as the dark and underground world of such a ‘business.’ get to see who really supports these ‘arrangements’ and what lengths they're willing to go in order to obtain their victim. It is an eye opening experience that this happens to people around the world and that the ones you think should be against such cruelty and fighting to save the victims are just as corrupt as the captors.

     The level of realism, the protagonist’s motivation, and that motivation that keeps him going is what makes this an interesting film. The film starts out nicely and then gradually gets darker and darker the farther along you get, then before you know it the film over in a blur of fighting, pursuing, and excitement. The pace is primarily fast but sometimes the film sags when events start to slow down. The action in Taken can be considered as closely related to Hitman (2007) and the Jason Bourne films. The fighting style and urgency of the action sequences are great as the camera never sits still long enough to be boring and the sound effects convey a level of realism that can make even the audience react. Now some of the fighting is not necessarily at the level of a Jason Bourne movie but it still makes for an entertaining and violent action-thriller. I am not saying that this film is perfect.
     In terms of cast, Liam Neeson (Non-Stop) as the main character, Bryan Mills, is perfect and unforgettable. This is most definitely one of Neeson’s greatest performances. The reasons and motivation behind the way Mills fights and overcomes problems can draw just about anyone in. There is a certain level of refinement and attention to detail that he gives to every opposition that stands between him and his goal, saving his daughter. According to his character, he’s “retired, not dead” and has an opportunity to show his enemies just who they are dealing with. The rest of the cast was very minor as far screen time and dialogue goes but I feel that each actor filled their role effectively; especially Famke Janssen (X2), Xander Berkeley, Maggie Grace (Knight and Day).

     Overall, Taken (2008) is not a brilliant film but if you keep an open mind then you will find it to be an entertaining and violent action-thriller. The violence is not gory but it is brutal as the film’s story highlights a real world issue of kidnapping and sex-trafficking young women. Part of the film’s message is highlighting how far a parent, particularly a highly skilled parent, is willing to go in order to save their child; even when the world is telling him that he’s too late or it’s impossible. The story is predictable but again it's entertaining and Neeson is perfect as the main protagonist. I highly recommend this film but I will warn you that it may not be for everybody or at least for people 20 years old and up.

"... But if you don't. I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."
- Bryan Mills

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.8 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.8 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Taken (2008).

Movies Similar 
The Bourne Series: Identity (2002)
The Bourne Series: Supremacy (2004)
The Bourne Series: Ultimatum (2007)
The Bourne Series: Jason Bourne (2016)
007: Casino Royale (2006)
007: Quantum of Solace (2008)
007: Skyfall (2012)
Gangster Squad (2013)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick 2 (2017)
Killers (2010)
Live by Night (2016)
Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Man on a Ledge (2012)
Mission Impossible  (1996)
Mission Impossible II (2000)
Mission Impossible III (2006)
Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
Taken 2 (2012)
Taken 3 (2014)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Pierre Morel           
Writing Credits: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Produced by 
     Didier Hoarau              ...   executive producer
     Franck Lebreton          ...   line producer
     Michael Mandaville    ...   line producer: USA
     Luc Besson                   ...   producer
Music by Nathaniel Méchaly      
Cinematography by Michel Abramowicz
Film Editing by Frédéric Thoraval      
Production Design by Hugues Tissandier    
Set Decoration by Alain Pitrel 
Costume Design by Corinne Bruand and Olivier Bériot

Liam Neeson                                 ...      Bryan Mills
Maggie Grace                                ...      Kim
Leland Orser                                 ...      Sam
Jon Gries                                        ...      Casey
David Warshofsky                      ...      Bernie
Holly Valance                               ...      Sheerah
Katie Cassidy                                ...      Amanda
Xander Berkeley                         ...      Stuart
Olivier Rabourdin                      ...      Jean-Claude
Gérard Watkins                           ...      St-Clair
Famke Janssen                            ...      Lenore
Arben Bajraktaraj                      ...      Marko
Radivoje Bukvic                          ...      Anton
Michel Flash                                 ...      Gio
Nicolas Giraud                             ...      Peter
Rubens Hyka                                ...      Leka
Camille Japy                                 ...      Isabelle
Valentin Kalaj                              ...      Vinz
Goran Kostic                                 ...      Gregor
Christophe Kourotchkine        ...      Gilles
Jalil Naciri                                    ...      Ali
Anca Radici                                   ...      Ingrid
Nathan Rippy                               ...      Victor
Héléna Soubeyrand                   ...      Girl with the Jacket
Tommy Spahija                           ...      Nezir
Anatole Taubman                       ...      Dardan

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