Sometimes weird shit happens. One thing leads to another and soon you’ve got a worldwide hit that no one expected. Taken was imagined as a standard issue thriller, as Luc Besson (Fifth Element, Taxi, Leon) pitched the idea to director Pierre Morel (Banlieue 13). Jeff Bridges was first cast as Mills, but he was replaced by Liam Neeson who was looking for more physical roles. He actually thought that this movie will bomb, considering four months in Paris and martial arts training he received, a pretty decent deal. We all know what happened afterwards, Taken became a hugely successful blockbuster making over $230 million on a $25 million budget. If I had to guess, the whole daddy aspect sat really well with general population. A strong, older, male protagonist is in charge of finding and protecting his female child, what more to want. I guess the right answer would be fear, we want fear. And fear came in form of the infamous “European Year” or the year’s people usually spend roaming the Europe and looking for new experiences. The “puritans” find this dangerous and their fears will be confirmed in this movie. If we add to this a very slick directing style and great action sequences, we got ourselves a pretty decent thriller.

Taken [2008] Movie Review Recommendation PosterFucking agency. You give it everything and it’s still not enough. Bryan Mills is a retired CIA operative desperate to mend the relationship between him and his daughter after the divorce. Kim is seventeen years old and is currently living with her mother and stepfather. She decides to travel to Europe with her friend Amanda, but as soon as they landed in Paris, trouble started and Kim was forced to call someone to help her. That someone packs his bags and heads straight to Paris, determined to save his daughter…

Now already iconic scene, “particular set of skills”, is one of those scenes that you will never tire of. Sometimes movies like this just happen and although they feature an extremely simplistic story with very obvious plot twists, they are still fun to watch. If you watched Morel’s previous movie Banlieue 13, you would have noticed his talent when it comes to action scenes and interesting camera angles. Polished and tight, Taken is a thriller that will entertain you like those big movies from seventies and eighties. Casting was great, with Liam reinvigorating his career and Famke being charming and sexy, as always.

Director: Pierre Morel

Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Maggie Grace

Fun Facts: Doing this film propelled Famke Janssen to take action in the real fight against corruption. She now serves as the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime.

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IMDb Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936501/

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