They took his daughter. He'll take their lives.
Running Time: 93 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 15
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
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.