Never abduct the daughter of the man who trained Obi-Wan, Batman, Darth Vader, bitch slapes wolves for a living, and was a God in two regions.
Directed by: Pierre Morel
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and Leland Orser.
Mothers will go primal to protect their sons from danger. Fathers, on the other hand, will go as far to eliminate family trees to protect their daughters. Meet Bryan Mills, an ex government operative who goes through the depths of the human trafficking underworld to get back his kidnapped daughter from a group of men, unbeknownst to them, the horror that awaits them.
"I don't know you who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for a ransom, I can tell you, I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career in the shadows, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will kill you."
With these words spoken in the first trailer that came out 4 years ago, you and I were hooked. When you take into consideration Liam Neeson's god voice and the fact that he has stepped into the genre of action, no one would have guessed that he'd turn into the next John McClane of the entertainment business. A few decades late, but not late enough to spark a new career path for man who's previous work revolved around characters that portrayed qualities of mentorship, father figures and even a higher being of power. Neeson plays the lead character Bryan Mills. He, like all our father, regardless of your gender, cares a lot of about his family, even though his ex-wife hates him for years of not being there, and loosing her and his teenage daughter to another man.
Many single older fathers can identify with this character, especially if the ex is with a man of wealthier standards. Almost not being able to see your son/daughter and the fear of losing their love indefinitely. The qualities that make good writing of character development, because the story develops you to find the development of the elements on screen. At least, that's how I see it. But, like a good father, he allows his daughter Kim, played by the cute Maggie Grace to travel to France with her more than subtle friend, only to be kidnapped and drugged for slave trade. Thus the real character of Bryan Mills awakens we begin with the, how we call it in screenwriting terms "fun & games" that we came and paid to see.
He punches, shoots, stabs and tortures to find his daughter. Mills is visceral yet subtle. His tactics are almost rusty yet elegantly executed. He may be 57, but he fights and hunts like a 21 year old. By the end of the film, you would be thinking that he might have actually killed off the entire human trafficking organization of France. And they have the audacity and arrogance to seek vengeance, but that's for another time. He is a one man army, but he is also vulnerable. Any normal man would have died on day one, but in Hollywood, normal human characters don't exist; they are fantastical, but always relatable. When you eliminate the international threat and slave war from the story, Taken is a simply family drama movie. Daughter's are a father's weakness, so use that as an element to profit on. The mistake that still burns me is how they just forget Kim's friend. Treating her like a macguffin.
Overall, like a Michael Bay action movie, the movie performs well by it's action, having Liam Neeson take names like a classical boss.
Written by: Bawnain©-Dexeus.