Movie Review: Taken

I’m tempted to go off on one of my patented Videoport Jones rants about the ‘24’-esque, xenophobic, torture-happy, vaguely-racist right-wing and right-makes-right-ness of this action thriller about an all-American (if brogue-y) ex-secret agent who leaps into brutal action when his teen daughter is kidnapped. I could also lay into the way the movie promptly justifies the hero’s paranoid view of any country on earth outside of the good ol’ USA by having his (frankly, kind of unlikeable) daughter get snatched up by white slavers virtually the moment she steps off the plane in filthy, filthy France (seriously, it’s like: ‘Wow, France sure is prett’…IMMEDIATELY KIDNAPPED!!!!), or the decision to cast the dishy Famke Janssen only to make her play a scold, or the way it plugs in this generation’s culturally-accepted ethnic stereotype villains (in the old days, it’s be drooling injuns instead of the drooling Albanians and, of course, Arabs pawing the white wimmens)… And maybe I could fault the script for setting up the hero’s status as all-knowing, super-capable super agent guy if his first advice to his daughter over the phone, as she’s about to be taken is, “okay, honey, you’re going to be taken” (Step 1: get kidnapped. Good…) But, quite frankly, I’m gonna go ahead and recommend this movie for two, huge, strapping reasons: Liam-freaking-Neeson. I believed every menacing, growly threat the man made, I bought every massive, Irish karate chop, gunshot, or kick to the face, and I was all about each moment where he worries about his little girl in between garrotings. Plus, the pace, once the princess gets snatched, is fast, no-nonsense, and unrelenting, with some truly solid action set pieces. I love Liam Neeson, and I really liked him in this movie. I’m a complex man…

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Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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