Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Taken. B-

Even if you're a serious fan of cinema, there is nothing wrong with seeing 'Taken,' a formulaic but sleek and incredibly fun action thriller. Liam Neeson, who's always good at playing characters who we feel really bad for, does it again as a former CIA agent named Bryan Mills. As you can probably guess, someone gets taken. Who is it? Bryan's naive, seventeen year old daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace. She and her friend Amanda travel to Paris to follow their favorite music group around the country (Bryan lets her go, thinking that she'll be touring art museums). Yet when they arrive, they make the mistake of getting friendly with a stranger named Peter, who's job is to snatch women for a deadly business. Before Kim is taken, she is able to call her father and give him some information. So Bryan, still incredibly able and versatile, flies to Paris and begins the hunt. 'Taken' has a bit of a slow start, but once our hero gets into business, it moves like one massive explosive climax. I was a bit surprised at how vicious Bryan actually is. Obviously he's extremely upset over his daughter's disappearance, but I was still taken aback by some of his actions. For example, shooting an innocent woman in the arm, or leaving a man to die by electrocution. Generally we associate movies like 'Taken' to star big, manly, action prototypes. but with Neeson and his subtleness in control, there was a certain sense of refreshment with watching the film. 'Taken' is the sort of movie that's pure bliss for audiences. It's not overly long or complicated, yet still clever and filled with crazy, action-packed scenes. Plus, it leaves you feeling pretty good. No, it's not a great movie. It doesn't even come close. But it certainly knows what it's doing while not getting overly preposterous like a movie such as 'Eagle Eye.' It's a lot of fun.

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