Taken (2008)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
The overprotective father.

Interestingly enough, I never did review the first Taken. This is the movie that started it all, jump-starting Liam Neeson’s career into how it’s known now – a type-casted action hero role. Though, if you ask me, that has more to do with him having a mid-life crisis and trying to prove something more than it has to do with anything else. It’s weird, because before Taken, I remember Liam Neeson in countless films that he’s done a really good job in, and while his acting wasn’t the best in Taken, the movie itself was just a lot of fun when it comes right down to it, so let’s talk plot.

I’m not going to pretend you don’t know what the movie is about – because I’m pretty sure whether or not you’ve actually seen it- you know the plot regardless. That being said, I just feel like talking about what happens. You see, Liam Neeson portrays Bryan Mills – a retired CIA agent that just wants to be around his estranged daughter – who takes his existence for granted. In a continued effort to prove his loyalty and love to his daughter, he buys her tickets to Paris, where she is immediately abducted from the airport. Let’s just say it’s back to a particular set of skills in order to track down and kill his daughter’s abductors.

The plot of this movie couldn’t be more simple if it tried to be. Liam Neeson kicks butt and the film isn’t afraid to prove that to the viewer throughout the movie – and all they had to do to prove it was give him a reason to kick butt. Kidnapping his daughter, done, let the show begin. It’s so simple, yet perfect for what it’s going for. It didn’t have to be deep and meaningful, because as a general rule, kidnapping is a very emotional experience from the get go. So even though it’s simple, it also has a lot of heart. No, you won’t really buy that Maggie Grace is Liam Neeson’s daughter, but it’s not really imperative that you do, either. It’s an action movie that wants to be an action movie, I say let it.

As far as the series goes, I’ve only seen the second movie so far, and to be honest, I like them both a lot – mostly because they aren’t trying to be anything that they aren’t. They know if it’s silly and repetitive, but the real reason you watch it isn’t truly for the story and you know it. The thing is, as fun and exciting the action is, and as unimportant as the story is, you still can’t really get away with not complaining about the acting.

I have no idea why, but there was something remarkably off about the acting. Like I’ve said before, I’ve seen Liam Neeson in a lot of movies and have been impressed with his acting ability, but there was something really robotic and amateur about the acting he did in Taken. It’s not only him, either, it seems like everyone in the movie couldn’t figure out how to act, and just like Liam, there was a lot of actors with the proven ability to act in this…so why did they seem so bad at it? My guess is probably the director or editor was a little off sync with what’s typically considered professional, and for the most part…it was just a mistake.

The Good:

Taken is a lot of fun, regardless of how good or bad the movie is on a technical level. Every now and again, you run into movies that are just fun, but critics like to rip them a new one anyways. This is one of those movies.

The Bad:

The acting. It seemed bad for some reason.


3 thoughts on “Taken (2008)

  1. I like the first Taken film, but I dislike what it spawned. I don’t think I was paying much attention to the acting, although Maggie Grace’s character seemed slightly amiss, now that you make me think about it. Nice review.


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