“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll 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”. This is not Chuck Norris and it’s not Jack Bauer speaking. But don’t kid yourselves, it’s someone just as lethal. This is a father who can on special occasions turn into the ultimate badass, say, if one were to kidnap his daughter. When the circumstances call for it, like it happens in Taken, then yes, Liam Neeson is someone you should stay away from.
But then again Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) doesn’t exactly fit the description of the ordinary father. A retired CIA agent who now works as a bodyguard for a famous performer, he is alert, efficient, skilled and definitely the kind of guy you don’t want to mess with. Divorced and alone, Bryan Mills has devoted his life to his job. And although a bad husband and strict father, Bryan always does the best he can in order to protect his family. This is why when his daughter Kim asks to go to Paris with a friend, Bryan deems the trip too dangerous and doesn’t want his daughter to go ahead with it. However after Kim’s mother intervenes, Bryan is forced to agree and let the two girls go to Paris all alone. A few hours later, Bryan receives a phone call from his daughter and while engaged in a conversation, Kim is Taken.
Taken has everything that its audience could ask for: action, excitement, horror and of course a protagonist who singlehandedly neutralises every single criminal in Paris. Risking his own life while messing with France’s underground, Bryan is out to get his daughter back and no one can stop him. Written by Luc Besson (also known for Leon, The Big Blue) and Robert Mark Kamen, the script manages to combine the real with the extreme in a very interesting way that makes the film captivating. Liam Neeson is great in this particular role, perfectly embodying the skilled agent and loving father and achieving a highly entertaining balance.
Although Taken has so far received mixed critic reviews, audiences all around the world have loved it for its entertainment value. It’s simply a movie which delivers what it promised: mystery and suspense, the good guy facing dozens of baddies and still fighting with the same strength and determination two hours later. However watching a movie like this, you begin to realise that it deals with a never ending story. After killing too many, revenge will be sought from the opposite side, and then from Bryan’s side again and so on and so on. Hence, the sequel coming out this week, Taken 2. And a lot more of them to follow, I imagine.