Liam Neeson, Famke Jennsen, Maggie Grace
Directed by Pierre Morel
Fox Home Entertainment 2009
Lately, we’ve heard more of Natacha Richardson’s fatal ski accident than her husband’s performance in his films. I think it’s somewhat a rather refreshing idea, for him and his fans, if we just took a look at his awesome acting skills in his latest film to come out on DVD, Taken. I cannot start this review without offering the actor my most sincere condolences for his recent loss. I couldn’t have it otherwise.
One could argue that writing a review at this time in a person’s life is no easy task, and I agree. I had to find the words to give Liam’s performance justice, yet, nobody wants to criticize a person who has gone through so much in recent months. However, I feel I have to be honest in my critique for a thriller I genuinely liked, even if I can’t say I liked everything in how the subject of the film was treated.
In this thriller DVD, Liam Neeson plays the role of Brian Mills, a divorced, retired secret agent who would like to use his early retirement to get closer to his estranged daughter that he had to be away from all this time he was serving his country in foreign lands protecting the United States of America. This life abroad cost him his marriage and he is afraid it could cost him his relationship with his daughter. He therefore tries to find a way to spend time with his daughter, but he soon finds out she plans to spend the summer in Paris, and possibly other places in Europe.
At this time, I’d like to warn any parent of a 17-19 year old child, that the rest of the movie basically represents the worst fear of parents who have teenagers traveling abroad. Brian Mills gets a disturbing call from his daughter in Paris as she is being kidnapped to later possibly be taken into the sex trade to unknown scary areas of Europe. The only good news is that having a parent with contacts in the world who knows how to investigate, Brian’s daughter Kim can hope that daddy will find a way to track her down.
The job won’t be simple however, Brian will have to rely on some of his friends in France, he’ll also have to fight corruption in the French system, Albanian and Middle-Eastern Terrorists, as well as a documented 96 hour window to find his daughter. This last part is where I feel like criticizing Taken 's American producers in blaming the usual suspects, but to be frank, they’re probably not far off the mark.
To conclude, I have to say that if it weren’t for Liam Neeson’s honest concerned father acting, this mystery DVD would have a few problems with credibility, but Liam Neeson, Famke Jansson (Brian’s ex-wife) and Maggie Grace in the role of the daughter all play their parts to convince us this is really happening. The movie offers a huge dose of suspense, a great deal of action, and decent acting all around. If you’re not afraid of having your kids taken away, this is a great nail-biter. If you are, it just might help you find them back… If you have the right connections.