Friday, 2 March 2012

Taken - Review

I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you: The words that turned Liam Neeson from the cuddly lion Aslan into an absolute bad-ass dad. Taken tells of estranged father Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA agent whose daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace, is living with his ex-wife and richer new husband. Feeling as though his daughter is growing apart from him, Bryan allows Kim to go travelling around Europe with one of her friends, despite being worried about her safety. However, trouble begins when Kim is kidnapped by a group of sex traffickers in France, forcing Bryan to take matters into his own hands, find the people who took her, and get her home to safety at whatever costs.

The film is a non-stop action extravaganza: from the moment Kim is taken, Neeson steps into action as the heroic father, killing whoever is connected with her kidnapping in a variety of stylish, painful, and – let’s face it – brutal ways. However, the only criticism I would have is the sheer amount of carnage that Bryan causes. I know the film is very tongue-in-cheek, but by the end of the film he has amassed a body count that would make Michael Myers feel guilty – I mean the Michael Myers from Halloween, not the Michael Myers from Austin Powers (Yea Baby!). But you just lap it up, as this level of brutality in any other film would feel out of place. However, in this film the destruction becomes second nature, almost to the point where he is killing the twelfth-million person in the most savage way and you’re just like: ‘yea, ok, I would have done it differently, but no, that’s good’. You just become immune to the sheer madness of the film – which is not a bad thing I suppose.

Neeson is great in the role as Bryan, as his portrayal as the ex-secret was very much a departure from roles we have seen him in before, reinventing him as an action hero for a new generation of cinemagoers. Yea his lines are cheesy, and at times you role your eyes due to the stupidity of some of the things he does, but Neeson just oozes charisma and testosterone that you just do not care. The array of imaginative ways in which he takes people out switches between genius and repetitive, however, after he’s killed more people than the Black Death, you just don’t care and even register that he is causing that much destruction. Let’s face it when it comes to beating the living snot out of a bunch of sex traffickers, Neeson is your man.

Shortly after the success of Taken it was announced that there would be a sequel, with filing beginning in September 2011. I am not sure where they can take the sequel, as the first was simple, but felt concluded and finished with when the credits rolled up. I can’t see how they can carry on the story without making a carbon copy of the original. So this may be like The Hangover Part II of the Hangover series, with the second film being exactly the same with only a few minor changes: instead of Europe, it is in Asia; instead of his daughter, it is his ex-wife; instead of killing people, Bryan gives them all Chinese burns – ok maybe not, but you see my point.

Well what do you think will happen in the next taken film? Do you think it will live up to the original? Will they give it some awful punned title like ‘Taken 2 Asia’? Let me know what you think below, or contact be via twitter.


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