Review of Taken (2008)

20 Nov

Taken (2008) is an action/thriller/drama film, produced by the well-known French director/producer Luc Besson, mostly known for his stylistic action movies.

Directed by Pierre Morel (From Paris With Love (2010), District B13 (2004)), who has worked as a cinematographer and in camera department on quite a few Besson produced movies.

Written by Luc Besson (Taxi (1998), La Femme Nikita (1990)) and Robert Mark Kamen (The Karate Kid (1984), The Transporter (2002)).

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Olivier Rabourdin and others.

It is basically a revenge thriller, except nobody dies at the start of the movie, but the main character goes on a revenge spree while trying to find his kidnapped daughter. And there’s something about these revenge movies that resonates in people. I guess, it’s because most people have at times wished to just go and beat the shit out of the people who have been assholes to you.

The acting mostly wasn’t all that good. Liam Neeson at the start of the movie is pretty awful, there’s something about him playing a normal guy that doesn’t really work, but when he actually starts doing cool stuff, he becomes totally awesome and kicks so much ass. Famke Janssen just doesn’t leave any impression. I had trouble believing that Maggie Grace’s character is supposed to be 17, Grace does try to be convincing, but it comes across a bit too forced. She spends most of her screen-time crying, thankfully, she’s not in the movie a whole lot.

The writing isn’t the greatest asset of this movie either. If the action wasn’t so great, the cheesy writing would have killed the movie. There’s some things that just don’t stand logic, but work because of Neeson’s performance, he can convince that he means all his cheesy lines. I can even forgive that photo zooming they do on CSI, where it is all pixellated and then easily cleared or the movie’s xenophobic tone, just to see Neeson being angry and karate chopping people’s throats. And he does those quite frequently.

Speaking of action, it is pretty great. Liam Neeson just going around and in this matter of fact way punching and shooting bad guys. And it has one of the best torture scenes in years. Luc Besson just knows how to make these testosterone filled high-quality popcorn trash movies. Yes, they’re stupid, but unbelievably entertaining.

How come that in movies, there’s always enough perverts among the high-society rich people to have these organisations, where they do this sick stuff?

I was surprised, when after watching this, I found out this is rated PG-13, it is quite odd for a movie about sex trafficking and a guy killing a bunch of criminals, so it isn’t overly graphic, but still pretty violent and unapologetic about it.

I definitely recommend this movie, because I had a lot of fun watching it. Don’t expect anything intellectual and when watching try not to analyse it too much and just enjoy Liam Neesonbeing a bad-ass. It got me pumped up and wanting to go out and punch some throat’s myself.

This is what Liam Neeson's character reads every night before falling asleep.

One Response to “Review of Taken (2008)”

  1. pitchofdreams November 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Love this movie. Liam Neeson is a badass!

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