Friday, March 27, 2009

Movie Review: Taken

Movie Title: Taken
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace.
Directed By: Pierre Morel
Genre: Action/Thriller
My Rating: 7/10

If you're in the mood for a brilliantly acted, yet cliched action movie - Taken is just the flick for you. Everything about the movie seemed just... French? I swear it looked like a French movie with its pace and dialogue.

And I like French movies. But I anticipate the Frenchness before I watch it.

Underrated and under-appreciated N-Irish actor Liam Neeson plays a former CIA operative/spy/field agent (pick one) who retires to be as close to his estranged daughter. Being a workaholic on international assignments for several years lead his wife to divorce him, and he had a guilt trip about the same. The ex-wife (Janssen, in her weakest role) re-marries a tycoon and the daughter gets everything she wants, including a horse!

Ok, enough of the premise, no spoilers there. The daughter (Grace) travels to Paris, France with a friend upon turning 17, and they both get kidnapped. And the real movie starts with Liam Neeson executing the rescue operation solo using his spy expertise.

Great action. Bourne-esque and doesn't look ripped off (QoS, anybody?). Neeson pulls an American accent well, even when he's impersonating a French services officer. A lot of cheesiness in the movie, but Neeson single-handedly makes up for it all. And the actress who played the kidnapped daughter - Maggie Grace (formerly on TV's Lost as Shannon) looked anything but 17. Come on, Hollywood and TV seriously need to start casting actors of the right age, especially teenagers. I thought they would have learnt that lesson from Beverly Hills 90210 in the last century.

It might be rated PG-13, but it is definitely not a family film. But I enjoyed it. 93 minutes just flew by. 7/10, with the fairness doctrine.

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