'Taken' garnered mixed to average reviews critically and still is, looking at the reviews here, a film that divides audiences. Can see both sides, being one who was mixed to moderately liked the film. It is interesting for being one of Liam Neeson's first endeavours as an action hero, and considering that the trailer was an intriguing one and Neeson has always been very watchable and often very good the potential was there.
As was said regarding 2011's 'Unknown' recently, 'Taken's' potential wasn't fully lived up to. Enough of 'Taken' does work, or at least to me it did (not everybody will agree and that's fine by me), but also from personal opinion what could have been a pretty good film turned out to be an above average but uneven one that could have done much more with what it had. It entertains and intrigues, but doesn't wow.
Really liked the rawness and slickness of the way 'Taken' was shot and edited, and the bleakness and grit of the rest of the production values suited the tone and genre perfectly. It's nicely scored, not intrusive but having presence, and the direction is solid.
There is enough taut suspense and fun to keep one gripped and the violence is uncompromisingly brutal and leaves one biting the nails. The sound effects are thrilling in authenticity and will leave one wincing in shock, with it adding hugely to the harrowing effect of the action. Neeson is a very commanding presence on screen and there is energy to the directing.
It is a shame though that, excepting Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen, the rest of the cast fail to match him or engage, being largely indifferent. The script also doesn't excite, descending into too much cheese and tedium and tending to lack clarity, subtlety.
Despite it being fun, slick, gritty and generally taut, the story is far too predictable and gets far too far-fetched and over-the-top in the latter stages. The violence, while thrilling and well done on its own, tends to overpower the basic drama of the story, so things feel unbalanced. The characters are pretty sketchy.
Overall, above average but uneven and more a mixed to moderately liked sort of film. 6/10 Bethany Cox
Action / Crime / Thriller
Action / Crime / Thriller
Seventeen year-old Kim is the pride and joy of her father Bryan Mills. Bryan is a retired agent who left the Central Intelligence Agency to be near Kim in California. Kim lives with her mother Lenore and her wealthy stepfather Stuart. Kim manages to convince her reluctant father to allow her to travel to Paris with her friend Amanda. When the girls arrive in Paris they share a cab with a stranger named Peter, and Amanda lets it slip that they are alone in Paris. Using this information an Albanian gang of human traffickers kidnaps the girls. Kim barely has time to call her father and give him information. Her father gets to speak briefly to one of the kidnappers and he promises to kill the kidnappers if they do not let his daughter go free. The kidnapper wishes him "good luck," so Bryan Mills travels to Paris to search for his daughter and her friend.
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February 22, 2012 at 02:26 AM