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Taken (2008)

They took his daughter. He'll take their lives.

Starring:

Arben Bajraktaraj

David Warshofsky

David Warshofsky

Famke JanssenFamke Janssen

Gerard Watkins

Holly Valance

Jon Gries

Katie Cassidy

Leland Orser

Liam NeesonLiam Neeson

Maggie Grace

Olivier Rabourdin

Xander Berkeley

Directed by:

Pierre Morel

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 93 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: France, United Kingdom, United States

Despite being ex-CIA, Agent Bryan Mills is not the brightest man. Having moved to be near his estranged seventeen year old daughter Kim, he foolishly agrees to her annoying pleading and lets her go to Paris with her best friend. Within moments of being in a fairly safe Western European country, she is abducted by unknown Eastern European types, hooked on heroin and put up for sale. When Bryan hears this happen on the phone he flies straight to France and pulls out all the stops to find his daughter.

For a good part of 90 minutes, our invincible hero effortlessly saunters around doing his best Chuck Norris impression as he pummels everything in sight with total ease. Throughout the entire film there is never an iota of doubt that Bryan will succeed which, despites some decent action set pieces, a great setting and a strong performance by Liam Neeson, makes this a very boring thriller indeed.

The father-daughter relationship is cringeworthily developed as, of course, poor wronged Daddy is made to look like a spokesperson for Fathers For Justice whereas the Stepdad (Berkeley) is made to look like Hitler despite seeming like an okay guy who’s only sin is to be loaded. Couple that with the fact that he’s trying to rescue a daughter who looks eighteen but has the mental age of an eight year old –  and, to be honest, if anyone is going to get kidnapped and sold into prositution within ten minutes of being in France, it’s her – the characterisation and relationship building is awful.

With Taken and the almost identical Unknown and more random tosh in the form of Clash of the Titans and The A-Team Neeson’s reputation is going down the swanny pretty quickly, even if his workrate isn’t. Snap out of it, Liam!

It's Got: Worst cameo ever with Holly Valance unconvincingly playing herself, some good action set pieces

It Needs: Less of the monotonous, unthreatening action, less cliched relationship building and characterisation

DVD Extras No Commentary! Just about forty minutes of extras including some behind the scenes stuff, a weird look at the Parisian premiere and some scenes shot from a different camera - pretty poor going DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

Ransom, The Mechanic, Unknown

Summary

I was pretty taken aback by how poor this monotonous thriller is. Best used as a way to scare your kids into not travelling and staying at home.

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