Movie Review: Taken

Preview synopsis from

The film follows an ex-CIA “Preventer” skilled in hand to hand combat who must rescue his daughter after she is kidnapped during her Paris vacation by human trafficking|sex-traffickers.

Liam Neeson in the Movie -Taken

Liam Neeson in the Movie -Taken


Taken is a 2008 French thriller/action film starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace. It is based on a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and was directed by Pierre Morel. Neeson plays a retired Central Intelligence Agency operative who sets about tracking down his teenage daughter after she is kidnapped by slave traders while traveling in Europe.

Father and daughter

Father and daughter

On its opening day in the United States, the film grossed $9.4 million, scoring the best opening day ever for Super Bowl weekend.[3] As of April 3, 2009, the film had grossed $137,871,852 in the United States and Canada, and $74,997,654 overseas, for a worldwide total of $212,869,506 making it the highest-grossing film of 2009.[1]

Although very profitable and successful with audiences as a whole, the movie has received mixed reviews from professional critics. Dan Kois of the Washington Post described the film as “a satisfying thriller as grimly professional as its efficient hero” and likens the action to the Bourne series. Derek Elley of Variety described the film as a “dumb, pedal-to-the-metal actioner.”

My Take:

To me-a father like Neeson’s character-this is about us-with a different face and skills brought about by our work -which our children doe not immediately understand -and woefully disregard in their decisions. Sometimes the next generation is destined to ignore their previous generations wisdom. Not knowing why we fret and worry for such simple decisions like “enjoying Paris and musuem visits” 

The violence in the film is really a concern-but if I am just watching this without my children-it is really a personal statement-that -come hell or hig water-I will rescue my children. It is good that Neeson’s character was able to do so and not succumbed to the reasonableness of his French friend.

There are similarity betweenthe skills and fight scenes of Bourne Identity (which is also about responding to the death of his wife) and to the plot of the early 24 tv series.

Critics does not like this because it ends positively i.e. the good guys wins and the bad guys-which are many were demolished by the hero. These critics wants a closed universe-where one will just die in despair.

Maggie Grace as Neeson's daughter-Taken

Maggie Grace as Neeson's daughter-Taken

The scene where Bryan(Neeson) tells the kidnapper he “doesn’t have any money but that he has the skills to track them down. Either release his daughter unharmed or he will kill them.” The kidnapper responds with an accented “good luck” and smashes Kim’s phone.-well they could improved it with some Jedi detachment or wise sayings-but anyway it is there as an prognosis of the whole story.

The misunderstanding between Neeson and ex-wife also highlights usual marriage misunderstandings. Our wives does not really understand us what we do in our job and how important we really are in our work and to our co-workers. Well, at least this movie doe understand us. 

The Albanian sex trade-at the heart of Paris-is new and scary-is it really true?


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