|Taken (Single-Disc Extended Edition)
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Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 05/12/2009 Run time: 90 minutes Rating: Pg13
What could be a skillful but ordinary action flick gets a surprising emotional heft from the presence of Liam Neeson as the hero. Bryan Mills (Neeson) has given up his career as a spy to form a relationship with his estranged teenage daughter--but when, on a trip to Paris, she's kidnapped by slavers, Mills uses all his connections and skills to turn the city of lights upside down and rescue her. Like most of the movies that writer/producer Luc Besson has a hand in (such as La Femme Nikita, The Transporter, Unleashed, and many other French action movies), Taken drips with lurid violence (a bit toned-down to get a PG-13 rating, but there's still plenty of it), deranged sentimentality, and stereotypes of all kinds. But this doesn't stop his movies from being effective thrill-rides, and Taken is no exception. Taken pays just enough attention to the illusion of procedure--making it seem like Mills knows all the right steps to track down his daughter--that the movie cheerfully seduces your suspension of disbelief, despite many plot holes and scenes where Mills doesn't get scratched despite bullets flying in all directions or pretends to be a French policeman despite not speaking French or even adopting a French accent. What holds it all together is Neeson; his gravitas and emotional availability make his character--the usual action fantasy of impossible competence and righteous fury--somehow seem real and relatable. --Bret Fetzer
Stills from Taken (Click for larger image)
- Single-Disc Extended Edition Case
Let me first state that this is not a review for the Movie but a review of the DVD's case. I purchased this movie from a best buy in Fort Worth Texas. When I purchased it I was surprised at the flimsiness of the Case. When I opened the Case I found out why. In order to be more "Green" and save plastic the case had holes cut into it. on the front a recycle symbol and on the backside of the case they have removed the area directly behind the disc. So in other words the only thing that protects the disc is the plastic sleeve and the paper cover.
- BUY, BUY, BUY!!!
The only thing I can say about this movie is one word. FANTASTIC! The acting is superb(especially Neeson) and the plot leaves you gasping with the non-stop excitement. There is never a dull moment in it and the ending is great. If you purchase one movie this year, make it this one....more info
- Wow... not bad at all!
I just watched this film and was pleasantly surprised. Liam has always been an excellent actor no matter what role he plays and this movie is no different. Simply put, the movie is fast-paced and well put together. My only pet peeve is his daughter who is 17 and continues to run in every scene she is in like a clumsy 10 year old. ...more info
- Wow! Non stop action flick with top notch acting
Let there be no mistake - Taken is a no-holds barred, balls-to-the-wall action film. But it also has first rate acting and a gritty feel to it. Liam Neeson is well cast as a former covert agent for the U.S. Government who has retired to spend more time with his seventeen year old daughter. He is unhappy when his daughter decides to embark on a tour of Europe with just a female friend. His fears are confirmed when the two girls are kidnapped as soon as they land in Paris by mobsters who turn their victims into prostitutes.
Neeson then goes on a one man "Dirty Harry"-like rampage to track his daughter down. There are also a few plot twists along the way that keep things interesting. The only thing that I didn't care for was the fact that Neeson was cast as an American and so had to lose his Irish accent. They could have had him play an ex-MI5 agent who had married and moved to the USA etc. to explain his accent. Nevertheless, its still worthy of a 5-star rating. Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go buy the extended director's cut version....more info
This is one intense, action packed, one and a half hours of movie. There is something that drew me in, and made me believe almost all of the amazing things that happened. The car chases were pretty spot on (going the wrong way down Les Quais de la Seine was a bit over the top); the gun fights; and the hand to hand fighting were incredible but not over the top. Liam Neeson, Bryan, is one lean mean Albanian killing machine.
Bryan, former CIA agent, is divorced from his wife and she married a very rich man. Bryan quit his CIA job to live closer to his daughter Kim. Kim convinces him to allow her to travel to Paris with her friend Amanda. Bryan wants her to stay safe and gives her a cell phone to call each day. Kim falls for a con man at the Taxi stand, and they both end up kidnapped. During the kidnapping Kim is on the cell phone with her father all the way in California. The intensity of the story really starts here, the feeling of helplesness any normal human would feel is incredible. Instead, Bryan just swings into cold action.
There is a moment at the airport where the film almost lost me. The two spoiled rotten very rich girls are standing at the Taxi stand in Paris. Peter, the con man, shows up and says Taxis are so expensive, would you like to share one? Under no circumstances can I imagine either of these spoiled brats thinking of saving money. If at that point Amanda had leaned over to Kim and said, hey he's hot, let's share the cab. No that didn't happen, and it just missed ringing true. A minor point, and the film doesn't suffer too much with that problem.
Technically the film is pretty well done. Luc Besson co-wrote the script. Besson is a pretty amazing director in his own right, he really understands the whole thriller, edge of your seat film. The original French version of Nikita (La Femme Nikita), is very similar to this film, (Nikita is much darker). The film is skillfully directed by Pierre Morel, The Transporter. Pacing is excellent, just enough lead up and tension to each chase scene. The sound is remarkable, I felt more explosions in my seat from the subwoofer than I have in a long time. Fortunately the rumble is not over done.
Oh and now for the rating. PG-13. Well, that's generous, better be sure your 13 year old is a bit mature. There is a very intense horrible torture scene about 3/4 of the way through, you may wish to fast forward. It is no worse than anything on 24 or on many television program. Just be forwarned, a 13 year old might just be a bit taken aback by this particular scene. Early in the film, we discover that Kim has been kidnapped by Albanians looking to traffic women from the Western Europe and the US. You also get to see prostitutes in Paris. There is no nudity, but be prepared that the average 13 year old might have some questions. There's very little foul language. Tons of violence, there's a quote by the French policeman at one point - 72 dead, 13 wounded, and a construction site destroyed. So you get the idea, lots of people shot and killed. The MPAA makes no logical sense whatsoever.
It's an intense fast ride. It's violent. But there is something special about this film. And I did enjoy it very much. ...more info
- Ye Olde Man Kills Everyone Movie
I've seen this movie a couple dozen times now. A man loses a family member and kills everyone responsible. There's no tension because you know what's going to happen. He tortures, kills, etc., his way to the goal. Man on Fire is a much better version of this same story. Liam Neeson is an extraordinary actor and he adds a little bit of coolness to an otherwise cliche repetition of the same old thing. By far the best part of the movie is the phone call where Neeson says menacingly and coolly that he's going to come kill the guy. But I saw that on the trailer 100 times already. ...more info
- Let God sort 'em out...
This is one of those great action movies where the hero isn't burdened by doubt, ineptitude, or guilt. He knows what he has to do and he does it coolly and ruthlessly! What he does is kill bad guys... Lots and lots of bad guys of all nationalities, races, and creeds who deserve what they get. Very efficient and ecumenical...
I lost count, but Liam Neeson must have killed about 50 bad guys in this one. And they keep on spawning so he has more to kill. I haven't seen one hero take on so many bad guys who keep on reproducing since Steven Segal made "Hard to Kill"...
The action is non-stop and the retribution is very satisfying. There is a lot of violence, but this is not an explicit blood and gore film. Just good old Hollywood movie violence that hits you at the gut level. "Taken" is a nice vicarious vigilante thrill for all the rest of us who must play by the rules. Liam Neeson does an excellent job! Highly recommended for action fans......more info
- Neeson vs. 007 vs. the transporter vs. Jason Bourne!
Wow, Liam Neeson kicks some serious butt in this movie...As a thriller, this has all the elements you want. Granted, the hollywoodlike setup to the events leading to the plot are extremely typical and standard...but it delivers the goods anyway. Liam Neeson would give 007 and Jason Bourne a run for their money! The scens of him kicking butt are great, and you no doubt will root and cheer as he mows through the bad guys to get to his daughter. Very entertaining from top to bottom....more info
- Oskar Schindler as Super-Agent...
"Taken" is one of those action thrillers with a main character who is or was a double-dog secret government wreaker of mayhem. Written by Luc Besson, who also made "Leon: The Professional", "La Femme Nikita" and "The Transporter," you go into this film expecting that there will be several scenes featuring our hero single-handedly taking on a room full of bad guys and, as my Granny used to say, whuppin' the tar out of them. Actually - he does more than whup most of them. Most wind up looking pretty dead, although no one stops to check for a pulse once the bodies start piling up.
The distinguishing characteristic "Taken" has over its brethren is the star. Instead of Jason Statham or The Rock (20 years ago it would have been Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme), "Taken" stars lauded Irishman Liam Neeson. The guy who played Schindler brings a degree of gravitas to a role not yet earned by most action stars. There's a reason he provides the voice of Aslan in the Narnia films.
In this film he plays Bryan Mills, who spent most of his married life on the road doing secret C.I.A. stuff, and enjoying it, but neglected his wife and daughter. As a consequence Lenore (played by Famke Janssen) is now his ex-wife, and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace from "Lost") lives with mom and new step-dad, a super-rich businessman.
Bryan regrets not being a better Dad and husband, so he has retired from the agency and moved near Kimmy, but when Kim lives in a mansion worthy of an NFL owner, it's tough for Bryan to compete for Kim's affection.
Kim is invited with a friend on a Paris vacation and Mom pressures Bryan to sign the necessary forms so that Kim can leave the country. After years of dealing with the world's shady characters, Bryan is reluctant, but signs the forms after giving Kim a few rules - mainly to stay in touch with an international cell phone Bryan gives her.
Kim is in her opulent Paris digs for all of about an hour before Albanian drug and prostitute slave traders break into the apartment. Dad is on the phone chastising Kim as the bad guys break in, and Bryan is able to piece together a few pieces of information when he tells Kim to give him as much description as she can before she is kidnapped.
The rest of the movie consists of Bryan tearing apart Paris, one room of bad guys at a time. At least four times he strolls casually into a situation surrounded by four or more baddies, and after the first few times the Mrs. and I would turn to each other and predict "I think THOSE guys are about to have a BAD day" each subsequent time he encountered more eurotrashy guys.
At an hour and a half, Besson and director Pierre Morel keep the pace at a level that barely gives you time to catch your breath. It's entertaining in a Bourne kind of way, and it makes me feel better seeing a man ten years my senior able to whup the tar out of a hundred bad guys.
- I Think I was Taken
Remembering Liam Neeson in "Schindler's List", this picture is several notches down for him. The plot is mindless and the writing amateurish. For openers, the character of his daughter is portrayed as a selfish, unappreciative, spoiled brat for whom I would have trouble leaving the house to rescue. After his rich characterisation of Oskar Schindler, Neeson's speech over the phone, threatening the kidnapper, is embarrassing.
As a whole the picture is contrived, predictable and completely unbelievable. ...more info
- The Hand to Hand is Ridiculous!
This is one of those movies that the old summer blockbuster always wanted to be. The scene where he shoots the cop's wife is out of control, and sums up everything that is good about Luc Besson and the French action flick. Like Bourne, like Jack Bauer, but all in a good way. Check it out!...more info
Taken, is everything you would expect and then some. Great movie with a little feel of the Bourne Identity. Smart and well paced.
Picture Quality 8 out of 10 sound quality 8
Highly recommended....more info
- BeSt MoVie 2 wAtCh wIth UR MaN
I love this movie. It got tons of action and twists that i like. I took my boyfriend to see it and he fell in love with it. So good, I had an adreline rush from it. But seriously it is such a good movie to watch....more info
- 10 star action!
Liam Neeson at his best! He is every Dad's hero. A man of his word, he is strong, skilled, smart and will never give up. Liam is as good or better than his performance in Batman Begins. Subject matter will keep your daughter home without you having to say a word! The action,the story, and drama is on par with the best movies ever. Rent it, but you'll want to buy it. Let's hope that they bring Liam's character back for a sequel! ...more info
Liam Neeson is awesome in this movie. The fight sequences in this movie where very realistic and didn't look heavily choreographed. The gun play in this movie was great too. I liked everything about this movie. Most of the time I'm frustrated by martial arts movies that seem so choreographed that the heroes never get knocked down or injured during a fight. I hope that Liam does another movie of this type maybe a sequel or even a prequel to this movie would be great.
- Very Disappointing
"Taken" pales in comparison to Luc Besson's earlier work (Nikita / Leon / Fifth Element / Taxi / Transporter) and not even Liam Neeson can save this hackneyed low-budget drivel.
You need not take my word for it. Check out a few of the films I listed and see for yourself. ...more info
- Are You the Same People Crying about Waterboarding...?
I watched TAKEN with some friends last night and enjoyed the movie. It's fast-moving, slick, driving entertainment. The cast is great, especially Liam Neeson as an ex-CIA operative doting on a teen daughter he never really knew.
But I was trying to reconcile how Americans can love a movie like this so much (where a former CIA operative beats with extreme prejudice, tortures with extreme prejudice and kills with extreme prejudice) and yet turn all kinds of squeamish and hand-wringing when it comes to dealing with real-life terrorists really trying to kill us.
Does it have to be your daughter before you care? Would you trust Liam Neeson to do the waterboarding? Is it easy to "pretend" to like this stuff in a world where it isn't "pretend"?
Just something I wondered after listening to friends after the movie.
But it's a cool movie. The plot is lean and fast-moving. The horrible crime of sexual slavery is addressed only to get the plot moving but isn't used to prick anyone's conscious, just provide a story of rescue. ...more info
- A straight up Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong Thriller
TAKEN is a movie only marginally enjoyed by critics (57% at Rotten Tomatoes) but loved by the American public. Liam Neeson stars as Bryan Mills, a retired government employee who has moved to California to be closer to his daughter Kim, played by Lost's Maggie Grace. Bryan is hesitant when Kim says she is going on a trip to Europe with her friends, but agrees to let her go if she promises to call. Kim does call from Paris, and while she does, Kim witnesses her friend Amanda being kidnapped. Suddenly, Bryan isn't retired anymore. He goes into "government employee mode" and tells Kim that she is going to be kidnapped and that he will come and save her.
While working for the government, Bryan was a "preventer." He prevented bad things from happening. You get a picture of what those skills were when he begans encountering and dispatching with thugs easily in France. The action is fast paced and brutal, but not overly gory since this is a PG-13 movie.
Bryan's CIA friends tell him he only has 96 hours to save his daughter. Neeson effortly displays the passion and desperation of a father about to lose his daughter. The villians are solid, and Maggie Grace is good as Kim.
I enjoyed this movie and believe it did so well at the theaters because it is about a father saving his daughter. It is about good versus evil. There is no gray area, if you are bad, you are killed by Bryan Mills, angry father and killing machine. There's no message in the film about the environment or terrorism or anything else that many big movies try to slip in to appease the critics. It's a simple movie where you know right away that all the bad guys deserve to die and you'll feel good when they do.
- Jack Bauer: The Retirement Years
While watching "Taken", the first thing that crossed my mind was: "Wow, this could be the story of fictional TV character Jack Bauer's retirement years!". Considering the success of 24, suffice it to say that I mean that as a compliment and thoroughly enjoyed this film.
Basically, the plot of this film centers on Liam Neeson's character, who is estranged from his daughter (played by Maggie Grace) and really has no way back into her life anymore. Though tenuous about her decision to travel to Europe for a summer with a friend, he knows that not signing the consent form will only further drive a wedge between them, so he allows it. Of course, her and the friend are immediately targeted by European slave traders and kidnapped right out of their apartment, sending Neeson into action to try and get them back. The kicker, though, is that "Neeson", now retired, was once a government agent who worked for an agency not unlike that of "CTU" of "24" fame (at least that is how it is described). As a result, Neeson actually has a fair shot at tracking down his daughter's abductors for the remainder of the movie.
What really separates this movie from other action fare, though, is the character development at the very beginning. Where other pure action films (Eagle Eye comes to mind) spend just a few precious minutes to develop the characters, the entire first 30 minutes (out of only 90 total) of "Taken" really fleshes out the father-daughter relationship. This makes you the viewer root even harder for Neeson cause when his daughter is taken.
The acting is also very solid, albeit in a subdued fashion (at least from Neeson). Whereas Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer emotes wildly and often, Neeson's take on "government agent" is much more simmeringly intense. We understand how badly he wants his daughter back, but he doesn't have to pitch a fit to convince us. Also, Grace ("Shannon" of LOST fame) transitions from well from small to big screen, as her innocent portrayal of a young girl also helps the audience become emotionally involved with the film.
Thus, while this film is not epic in any sense of the word (hence the four-star rating), it is still very entertaining in a straight-forward sort of way by doing all the things that a good film should: developing characters, creating emotional attachments, and having enough of a plot to keep the action moving forward. If you are a fan of the "thriller" genre, please check this movie out...it may not shoot straight to the top of your "favorite movies" list, but you will also likely not be disappointed, either....more info
- Blu Ray quality is horrible ...
While this movie is AWESOME, the blu-ray's quality is really bad, especially in low light scenes, like the car chases, it looks very "pixeled out", kinda makes you want to stop watching the movie ... This happens in like 40-50% of the movie.
Still ... this movie is so awesome that I'm watching it for the 2nd time right now ... but I would've bought the DVD if i had known the blu-ray had such bad quality....more info
- great movie
Ten or fifteen minutes into this movie and it takes off. Very much an the edge of your seat movie with plenty of action. Not sure if it will be a movie I watch over and over again, but entertaining nonetheless....more info
- Excellent Movie! Worth buying.
This is one of the best movies that I have seen in a very long time. Excellent!...more info