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Old 01-31-2009, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Taken: The Movie Review

Before I get into the meat of this review, I want to say this:

GO & SEE THIS MOVIE!!

In 2004, a movie called Man on Fire, directed by one of my favorite directors, Tony Scott came out and the advertisements gave me duck bumps. A personal bodyguard, Denzel Washington ( Creasey ), in charge of a young Dakota Fanning, has his principal taken and he’s out to get her back by any means necessary. Christopher Walken, one of my favorite supporting actors, has the best line in the movie:

A man can be an artist... in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasey's art is death. He's about to paint his masterpiece.”

The movie was a HUGE disappointment for me. I have long thought that, if I were to win a lot of money in the lottery or something, I would love to tackle a remake of this movie into what it SHOULD have been, an ass kicking, no holds barred, Jason Bourne like relentless revenge epic.

Enter Luc Besson. The mind behind such great rides as “The Professional” all three “Transporter” flicks, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, Etc.

Luc Besson is a master of his craft. He writes and directs movies that guys want to see, but it’s not about special effects, and fast motion, close camera work where you can’t see the flaws in the actor’s footwork, or their lack of skills. Luc Besson gives you a compelling story, with good action and great gun play.

So, the previews for Taken have been getting my hopes up. A father, who used to be a spy, or work for the CIA, has his daughter, who he loves more than life itself, taken from him. He tells the bad guy in an epic phone conversation that he will hunt him, he will find him, and he will kill him. The bad guy’s response: “Good Luck”.

This movie starts slow, there is almost an effort that is TOO MUCH to explain how much this man, Liam Neeson, loves and cares about his little girl. His former wife, Famke Jannsen showing amazing acting skills and not just a great body, has long since divorced him and married a man who has more money that God. Bryan Mills ( Neeson ) is her real dad that has quit his day job as an executive protection agent ( “preventer” in his words ) to move closer to his daughter in her growing years.

It’s obvious in the early part of the film that the mother, Jannsen, feels that Mills has wronged her, and her daughter, by putting Duty, Honor and Country before the closeness and “at home for dinner” needs of his family. Mills is definitely resonant in that fact and Laim Neeson shows very good range in his acting during this early, low budget part of the movie.

I was afraid that the low budget portion of the film was going to represent what the film would become. Thankfully I was wrong and the scenes once the Daughter goes to Paris are all shot in and around the city and the money they spent to show the opulence for the sake opulence ( explained later ) was VERY well done.

In short, the daughter is “taken” by modern sex traders, and in doing some research, her father learns he has 96 hours to find her before she is strung out on drugs and officially “sold” to someone, who is rich beyond rich, & he won’t have a chance in hell of finding her, or getting to the person who "bought" her.

Liam Neeson is brilliant in his role. His facial expressions, the anguish he shows and the pain on his face, early on, and the rage he shows when he is trying, fruitlessly at times, to find his daughter, is VERY well done.

The fight scenes in this movie are SICK! There is no close camera ( Bourne 2 and 3 ) or fast motion ( Segal movies of late ) use of the “magic” of film making to make the scenes more believable. Liam Neeson is a former ( equivalent in Ireland ) Golden Gloves and he lets his hands go a lot in this movie. Several of the scenes are reminiscent of the first Bourne Movie. In several scenes Neeson uses VERY deadly street fighting tactics like Krav maga low kicks to the knee itself and ridge hands to the throat. The fight scenes, even for the aging Neeson, are amazing and show what it’s like to be in a Life or Death Hand to Hand situation. There is one scene that I intend to rip and put on my laptop as a screen saver because it’s THAT SICK!

In closing I would urge all my fellow movie lovers to go and see this movie, in the theaters if you can, because it’s worth the ticket price. This is a very good movie that is worth your time.

JD
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:15 PM   #2
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Thanks, the movie does look good from the trailers.

Now, the important part: ANY GOOD NUDITY??

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Old 01-31-2009, 11:23 PM   #3
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PG-13 bro - The violence isn't over the top gory, but there isn't much nudity other than a couple of thong shots....

In spite of that, it's a very good movie...

JD

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Old 01-31-2009, 11:31 PM   #4
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PG-13 bro - The violence isn't over the top gory, but there isn't much nudity other than a couple of thong shots....

In spite of that, it's a very good movie...

JD
Usually, I notice the rating. I don't like the PG-13 stuff too much. Especially when they are action or horror flicks. Imo, most can be more entertaining if they just went the extra mile to R. I understand why production films prefer the lower rating, because that equals more box office $. Still, a good movie is a good movie.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:41 AM   #5
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Saw it Friday. Liked it a lot. I guess as a father of teenage daughters, I can relate to the disire to find his daughter and the ruthlessness he will exhibit in doing so. Poor fu@kers that took her. They DIE!

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Old 02-01-2009, 12:58 AM   #6
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Saw it Friday. Liked it a lot. I guess as a father of teenage daughters, I can relate to the disire to find his daughter and the ruthlessness he will exhibit in doing so. Poor fu@kers that took her. They DIE!
Soooooooo, I am a little fuzzy. Did you dig the movie, or dig you NOT dig the movie....

JD
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Old 02-05-2009, 06:18 AM   #7
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+1 on JD's review.

Saw this Sunday (the theaters were empty during the SuperBowl) and my wife and I both agreed it was very good, and well worth the full price of admission.

The fighting and gunplay was very good, not a bunch of stylized crap.

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Old 02-05-2009, 12:27 PM   #8
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Did I like it? Of course I did. It was a good movie. Was it a "great" movie? Not "great". I would have preferred an "R" rated version just to have some more gratuitous violence. Some one "takes" my daughter, there WILL be some gratuitous violence. Probabably A LOT of gratuitous violence!

I would still recommend it to all.

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