Learn more about Taken:
UPC 14: 00024543553526
They Took His Daughter. He'll Take Their Lives.
"A satisfying thriller as grimly professional as its efficient hero. Dan Kois, The Washington Post
|A former spy relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been forced into the slave trade.|
"...moves so fast and with such single-minded, vindictive energy, there's no time for moral ambivalence. Josh Rosenblatt, Austin Chronicle
"I won't tell you Taken is great, but it's great fun. Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"...after Neeson starts his hunt and does his best wrath-of-God impression, it doesn't skip a beat. Patrick Parker, Premiere
"...[the action] is crisp and fast, with a minimum of computer enhancement... Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
Liam Neeson is an unstoppable force in this adrenaline-fueled thriller from director Pierre Morel. Bryan (Neeson) has taken early retirement from the CIA in order to live closer to his teenage daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). Bryan's government work kept him away from Kim for much of her childhood, and he's now trying to make up for lost time. When Kim announces that she's taking a trip to Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy), Bryan is apprehensive about her traveling on her own. His worst fear is soon realized, as Kim and Amanda are abducted upon their arrival in France. Bryan immediately springs into action, using his well-honed CIA skills to piece together clues from a single, frantic phone call he received from Kim. He hops a plane to Paris, determined to rescue his daughter before she falls off the grid completely. With some help from his old CIA buddies, he tracks down the kidnappers--an Albanian crime ring known for selling young girls into the sex trade. He quickly takes matters into his own hands, plowing his way through Paris's underworld as the clock ticks down and the bullets fly. His search propels him into the upper echelons of a massive crime ring, putting him closer and closer to his beloved daughter.Neeson is known for tackling extremely cerebral roles, so it is interesting to see him in full-on action-hero mode. In TAKEN he is no less than a crime-fighting machine--a Bourne/Bond hybrid with a deathly serious baritone. And while he spends most of the film firing Uzis and snapping necks, he still manages to deliver a moving performance as an estranged father fighting for what he loves most in the world. The film undeniably owes a lot to Neeson's acting chops. He manages to raise this rather thinly plotted, deeply violent film a bar above your typical action fare.
Taken - DVD Review
By: Chris Cabin
filmcritic.com DVD Reviews
Published on: 5/1/2009 5:39 PM
Of all the men you would expect to tear through Europe to save his daughter, leaving a trail of dead like Jonestown in his wake, Liam Neeson would be relatively low on the list, coming in somewhere between Chevy Chase and Zero Mostel. Neeson has always been known for playing men of impassioned rhetoric, guys whose tongues are more powerful than their physical prowess. So, watching the man who played Alfred Kinsey, Jean Valjean, and Michael Collins take two large nails and slam them into a another man's thighs before connecting jumper cables to said nails might leave a viewer understandably flabbergasted....read the full review
Cast & Crew
Sight and Sound
"Morel directs much like his mentor Besson -- that's to say, very slickly, with an emphasis on glossy action sequences."
"TAKEN is very much its own film, bolstered by director Morel's explosive, adrenaline-driven approach to staging action and a cleverly-constructed script..."
Los Angeles Times
"Neeson throws himself into this role, appearing in nearly every scene and making good use of a purposeful scowl that combines fury and disgust in equal measure."
"A satisfying thriller as grimly professional as its efficient hero, TAKEN pairs the ruthless hand-to-hand combat of the Bourne series with the potent child-in-peril plotline of a Lifetime original movie."
3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is an absolute hoot whose visceral, no-holds-barred fight and torture scenes...are brutal enough to make even Jack Bauer flinch."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Ex-cinematographer Pierre Morel brings much of the punishing brutality he injected into DISTRICT 13..."
"One of the biggest -- and most surprising -- hits of the year, TAKEN gooses a tired premise and turns it into a tense exercise..." -- Grade: A-
ReelViews 7 of 10
If there are any 24 fans who have wondered what the TV series might be like if Liam Neeson replaced Kiefer Sutherland, Taken provides an opportunity to have that question answered. Neeson's Bryan Mills uses nearly all the Jack Bauer tactics, including torture, bone-crunching, and bloodletting. He gets involved in car chases, shootouts, and brings a gun to a knife fight. Like the Energizer Bunny, he takes a licking but keeps on ticking. When it comes to action, Taken gets the job done. The film is never boring. It is, however, completely preposterous...It's a little surprising that this movie, with its frank and graphic depictions of torture and unflinching images of death, missed an R. It boggles the mind that the MPAA somehow deemed this appropriate for teenagers but found Slumdog Millionaire too harsh. I feel reasonably sure that five or ten years ago, this cut of Taken would have been rated R...For Liam Neeson, this is one of those "paycheck" roles. He's not required to do much more than look grim and participate in some carefully choreographed action sequences. Maggie Grace, still best known for her doomed role in Lost, has the thankless task of playing the victim. There's no single villain, so a bunch of unknowns play various nefarious individuals who bear some degree of responsibility for what has happened to Kim. Unlike in many action films of this sort, however, there's no individual at the top of the totem pole, so Bryan's goal is to eliminate everyone with any degree of involvement. There's no Payback scenario...Taken has the kind of story that, if fleshed out properly in a novel, might be a page-turner. The perfunctory, contrived manner in which director Pierre Morel handles the material, however, ensures that the movie is never given the opportunity to rise above the level of a cheap potboiler...The well-crafted trailer promises more atmosphere and intelligence than the movie delivers.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
If CIA agents in general were as skilled as Bryan Mills in particular, Osama bin Laden would have been an American prisoner since late September 2001. "Taken" shows Mills as a one-man rescue squad, a master of every skill, a laser-eyed, sharpshooting, pursuit-driving, pocket-picking, impersonating, knife-fighting, torturing, karate-fighting killing machine who can cleverly turn over a petrol tank with one pass in his car and strategically ignite it with another...It's always a puzzle to review a movie like this. On the one hand, it's preposterous. But who expects a "Bourne"-type city-wrecking operative to be plausible? On the other hand, it's very well-made. Liam Neeson brings the character a hard-edged, mercilessly focused anger, and director Pierre Morel hurtles through action sequences at a breathless velocity..."Taken" reopens a question I've had. A lot of movies involve secret clubs or covens of rich white men who meet for the purposes of despoiling innocent women in despicable perversity. The men are usually dressed in elegant formalwear, smoke cigars and have champagne poured for them by discreet servants. Do such clubs actually exist? Since every member would be blackmailable, how could they survive? If you lost everything in a Ponzi scheme, would you betray your lodge members? Just wondering...The movie proves two things. (1) Liam Neeson can bring undeserved credibility to most roles just by playing them, and (2) Luc Besson, the co-writer, whose actioner-assembly line produced this film, turns out high-quality trash, and sometimes much better ("The Fifth Element," "Taxi," "The Transporter," "La Femme Nikita," even "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada"). The bottom line is, if you can't wait for the next "Bourne" thriller, well, you don't have to. I can easily wait, but Truth in Reviewing compels me to confess that if the movie I was describing in the first paragraph sounded as if you'd like this, you probably will.
- Roger Ebert