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Rating: 2.0

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing thematic material, sexual content, some drug references and language.
Release Date: 2009-01-30
Starring: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Film Genre:
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For years now, french filmmaker Luc Besson (The Transporter) has been hemorrhaging preposterous action films that are wildly unsophisticated in their storytelling but that are also inexplicably entertaining.  Taken is no exception. 

Yet the Besson-written screenplay is directed by another frenchmen, Pierre Morel, who at least for this film, happens to share his exact same sensibility:  A reckless disregard for character development because the order of the day is a ‘shoot-em up thriller’.

Unsurprisingly then, the film’s premise is pretty straightforward. It centers on a former government operative named Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) who is on the hunt for a fearsome organization that has taken his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), with whom he has just started to rekindle a relationship with.  After being absent for most of her life, Mills will terrorize all of Paris hunting down the band of kidnappers to prove his fatherhood.

Despite its slow beginning, hokey dialogue, and poor acting on everyone’s account (Maggie Grace being especially unbearable), the film doesn’t ever pretend to be more than it really is. It’s just strange to see Neeson, such an accomplished actor, playing the type of role usually reserved for people like Jason Statham. 

I know what I’m getting into when when I watch these films and so I’m rarely disappointed.  And If you have the slightest appetite for the genre, then it should be an easy 90 minutes of film to watch.

Taken is the type of film that easily gets filed under the ‘really bad films I’d watch category’.

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