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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Review: Taken (18) ★★
A former spy relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been forced into the slave trade.


I could sum up this film in a nutshell by saying its every Bond film you’ve ever seen but with Liam Neeson.
To add more depth to the review however let’s examine the plot:

Neeson is a former government spy whose self-imposed retirement centres around wanting to spend more time with his estranged teenage daughter. At odds with his ex-wife, Neeson is pressured into allowing his daughter to travel to Paris where, surprise surprise, she’s kidnapped and sold into prostitution (of course).
Cue two hours of Neeson powering through various cities, unleashing a variety of death and destruction upon his daughter’s captors. Although the plot for the film is far from imaginative (Ransom anyone?) it is well filmed and the fight scene choreography is slick and bone-crunching. Neeson is pretty believable as the desperate father and highly trained killer.

Where the film falls down is in its lack of imagination and creativity – the plot is predictable, the acting is pretty lethargic (Famke Janssen is just plain annoying) and the ending is so sugary it will make you want to weep glucose tears.
What’s more disappointing about this effort is the fact that Luc Besson co-wrote the script. From the guy who was responsible for Leon, you’d expect more.

This film doesn’t break any new ground in the action/thriller genre and uses a fair amount of the usual clichés. If you’re looking for something to kill a couple of hours, give it a go, but only if you’ve seen all of the Bond films, Miami Vice and Ransom at least once.

Review Submitted and Rated by: Dave Gledhill


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