Taken is one dumped-in-January film thats better than it needs to be but, alas, still isnt good enough. Retired from his job as an ass-kicking American operative to be closer to his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), Bryan (Liam Neeson) can only listen in horror when she calls from Paris while human traffickers abduct her. Directed by Pierre Morel, whose French hit District B13 only worked when its characters were pummeling and chasing each other, Taken tells a pretty standard not-my-child! revenge story concerning Bryans one-man mission to bust heads in the City of Lights. As one would expect from Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen the writing team behind the pleasingly ludicrous, pseudo-sophisticated Transporter series the film gives action fans a few glimpses of picturesque international locales before the story gets down to the business of shooting, maiming and torturing vaguely foreign baddies. Neesons tormented weariness lends an air of dignity to the films pulpy, grubby nastiness, but as striking as he is in action-hero mode, the truth is that Taken doesnt need dignity. It requires tongue-in-cheek machismo that mocks the storys B-movie inanities while playing them to the hilt. What, was Jason Statham busy?
Pierre MorelLiam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Katie Cassidy, Famke Janssen, Xander Berkeley, Olivier Rabourdin, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Holly ValanceLuc Besson, Robert Mark KamenLuc Besson, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, India Osborne20th Century Fox