MONKEY REVIEW: Taken

January 31, 2009

taken“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.”

That’s pretty much the bulk of the text from the trailer for the Liam Neeson thriller Taken, a Pierre Morel film co-written by Luc Besson, which arrived on American shores this weekend after a successful international run. It’s Neeson’s character, an ex-CIA operative, talking to his teenage daughter’s kidnappers, and it made for a pretty riveting trailer, riveting enough to get me into the theatres this weekend to see Taken. Unfortunately, despite a brisk pace and Neeson’s convincing turn as an action hero, Taken doesn’t deliver on the promise of that trailer, not even close, really. There’s plenty of shooting, car chases and people getting beat up, but it’s all in the service of a pretty standard (not to mention pretty xenophobic) action plot where everyone is an idiot but the hero, with virtually no surprises in stores for audiences. Well, there’s one surprise, that this even got a PG-13 rating, as it’s got a body count to rival a slasher film. You’re better off watching 24, a Jason Bourne or a James Bond movie, as this pastiche of all of the above isn’t really worth your time.

MONKEY RATING: THREE MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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2 Responses to “MONKEY REVIEW: Taken”

  1. coffee Says:

    i love how straightforward Taken was, they didn’t bother to dilly dally around with excessive plot twists

  2. radiondn Says:

    I definitely agree that was one of Taken’s strong points, its determination to get down to the business of being an action thriller. I went into Taken with a lot of goodwill, but there were too many things about it that kept me from fully enjoying it, the xenophobic element, for one thing, and the somewhat buried message about what happens to teenagers if they are
    promiscuous. Obviously it found a more appreciative audience than me since it’s number one at the box office this weekend, so I may be in the minority on this one.


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