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original title: Taken
duration: 1h 33min
tags: They have taken his daughter. He will hunt them. He will find them. He will kill them.
keywords: cia, france, rescue, womaninjeopardy, teenageabduction, teenagedaughter, stabbing, sextrafficking, revenge, agent, onemanarmy, albanian, prostitution, stepfather, diehardscenario, protectivefather, se
Mills retires from his job to spend more time with his 17-year-old daughter, Kim, who now lives with her mother and wealthy stepfather. Kim plans to travel to Paris and seeks her father's permission, but he is worried about her safety. Kim's disappointment and the anger of his ex-wife convince Mills to change his mind.
However, almost as soon as Kim arrives in Paris, she is 足kidnapped. Now Mills is faced with his worst fear, losing his daughter. He uses the skills he learned from his job to track down her captors.
Taken does not have much of a storyline (and what little plot it has is clich辿d and predictable). Nor does the film 足feature original, developed characters; the audience is forced to put up with the seemingly 足superhuman Mills, his spiteful ex-wife, the naive, spoiled Kim, and the inept "bad guys." Consequently, Taken relies on action and some suspense to engage its 足viewers. Perhaps the best scene of the movie is Kim's kidnapping, in which the element of suspense is 足executed very well.
Unfortunately, the strengths of the film are negated by the ending, which I can only describe as terrible. There is a complete change in mood, and there is no transition for the change to make sense. The 足finale also leaves many loose ends and seems to question the audience's intelligence with the amount of liberties it takes.
Bottom line, expect a mildly entertaining action flick with one-dimensional characters, a dull script, and a predictable plot. Very pleasantly surprised at this $1 rental; I really knew absolutely nothing about it prior to renting but while watching it I distinctly felt similarities to "The Professional" (Leon) and while totally different in plot, indeed it is another Luc Besson written film.
Liam Neeson was excellent as a father who was ill at ease in normal society but who was very comfortable when plying his trade. The supporting cast was completely up to the task but it was Neeson's embodiment of Besson's central character which made the film. The action was mostly believable and almost non-stop.
I feel that while it was not quite on the level of "The Fifth Element" or "The Professional", it was far better than any of the "Transporter" trilogy and that Luc Besson has somehow found his center again. May he continue on around there forever... Neeson growls his way through the functional dialogue as an unstoppable killing machine in impressive, cold-eyed style. Retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) reluctantly allows his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to fly to Paris with her girlfriend Amanda (Katie Cassidy). Not more than a few hours after landing in Paris, Kim and Amanda are kidnapped by Albanian sex-traders. Bryan immediately hops on a flight to Paris in order to track down his daughter, vowing to stop at nothing to get her back. Taken is an original script by French film-maker Luc Besson and American screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen. Two sequels followed: Taken 2 (2012) (2012) and Taken 3 (2014) (2015). When Marko (Arben Bajraktaraj) is being interrogated by Bryan, he says that Kim was a virgin and that they don't deal with virgins, so they sold her to a man named Patrice Saint-Clair because virgins fetch a very high price. St. Clair's client turns out to be a sheik (Nabil Massad) who has a penchant for deflowering young girls. Bryan reaches the quay just as the boat carrying his daughter leaves the dock. He steals a car and drives along the quay until he passes the boat, stops his car on a bridge, and jumps on deck as the boat passes under it. After fighting his way past almost a dozen guards and getting himself shot in the leg, he makes his way to a bedroom suite where he finds a fat sheik holding a knife to Kim's neck. The sheik starts to negotiate, but Bryan shoots him between the eyes. Kim starts to cry and rushes into her father's arms. In the next scene, Bryan and Kim are arriving at the Los Angeles Airport. They are greeted by a tearful Lenore (Famke Janssen) and her rich husband Stuart (Xander Berkeley). Lenore hugs Bryan in thanks, and Stuart offers him a ride with them, but Bryan decides to take a cab. In the final scene, Bryan takes Kim on a surprise visit to the house of pop singer Sheerah (Holly Valance), who invites Kim inside so that she can hear Kim sing and "see what [she] got." By the time anyone would have spoken up, if ever, Bryan was likely on his private jet winging his way back to Los Angeles. Once back in the States, the U.S. government isn't about to hand over one of their CIA operatives.Taken is most often compared to Commando (1985) (1985), in which a retired army commando will stop at nothing to find his kidnapped daughter, and to Man on Fire (2004) (2004), in which the ex-CIA operative bodyguard of a young girl searches relentlessly for her when she is kidnapped. If you're into South Korean cinema, you could check out Ajeossi (2010) (The Man from Nowhere) (2010), which is very similar to Taken in many aspects. There are three versions. The first is the international cut, released as an "Extended Cut" (unrated) on home media in the US, and as an "Extended Harder Cut" (with an "18" classification) on home media in the UK. The second is the UK cut, which is nearly identical to the international cut, with the sole exception of the torture scene (the clamps are attached to the chair in the UK cut; in the international cut, they're attached to spikes which are stabbed into the man's legs), which was cut to secure a "15" classification. This cut was shown in theaters in the UK. Finally, the third version is the US cut, edited by 2 or 3 minutes to receive a PG-13 rating in the US. This cut was shown in theaters in the US. There are three DVD releases in Region 1