Taken – Movie Review (it sucked)

10 Jun
Taken movie poster

Taken Movie Poster (2008)

So I finally saw Taken this week.

I was intriqued by this cool-looking trailer I watched:

The premise is brilliant. Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) is an ex-CIA/NSA type, who has retired in order to be closer to his daughter. She goes off to Paris on a trip, and while there gets kidnapped while she is on the phone with Daddy.

Brian Mills then says the following to the kidnapper after he picks up the phone:

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 is a brilliantly-written monologue, delivered with an icy deadly serious tone by the always delightful Liam Neeson. Sadly, that is the only piece of brilliant writing in the entire movie.

Here is a piece of real dialogue from the movie:

Jean Claude: Graham, you can’t just run around tearing down Paris…
Bryan: [cuts him off abruptly] Jean Claude, I’ll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to!

The movie takes a while to even get to the cool kidnapping scene and get our hero off on the war path. Presumably so we care about his daughter too. But his daughter is a spoiled bitch. She gets a pony for her birthday from her stepdad, and when it is presented callously throws her biological dad’s (Liam Neeson) present to the side to go ride the pony.

Then she lies to her father about wanting to visit Paris to see the museums and culture. Instead she is really going to follow U2 on tour throughout Europe. Tickets to U2 concerts are NOT cheap I don’t think I need to remind you. Then she uses her biological fathers emotional attachment to her (hey dad let’s go grab lunch, just you and me!) to get him to sign the paperwork to allow her to travel to Paris.  Why should I care if his daughter is rescued?

Then the entire premise for WHY she was kidnapped is laughable. A gang of Albanians is kidnapping western girls, drugging them, turning them into prostitutes and selling them to rich sheiks. There are THOUSANDS of WILLING girls who go to the Harems of the sheiks. There is no need to spark international incidents by kidnapping people of other sovereign nations. Blond American girls are not THAT great.

Same goes for prostitution. Last time I checked there was not a prostitute shortage.

And then when our hero starts kicking ass to get his daughter back, I was expecting a bit of Sherlock Holmes. After all, this guy is HIGHLY TRAINED right? CIA/NSA or whatnot? Yet every single lead he gets to his daughter’s wherabouts involve blind luck:

  • Photo taken by french guy at airport happened to have reflection
  • French guy was still at airport
  • Former friend in french police involved in entire thing
  • Prostitute he antagonizes in paris just happens to have a pimp who is involved in his daughters disappearance
  • Shipping container in construction yard just happens to have girl who borrowed his daughters jacket
  • Girl he rescues from construction yard just happens to remember exact street address of house she was taken to
  • When he visits that place, the same exact guy who said ‘good luck’ not only just happens to be there, but out of ALL THE MEN in the room, the ONE guy who reads Liam Neesons written statement just HAPPENS to be the SAME GUY
  • When Liam Neeson is tied up about to be killed, he JUST HAPPENS to be tied up against loose pipe that is filled with hot steam
  • When Liam Neeson visits the girl auction, he HAPPENS to walk in JUST as his OWN DAUGHTER is being auctioned.

Etc etc. Incredibly lazy writing, awful awful awful movie. Instead of Sherlock Holmes I get Forrest Gump.

And no offense to Liam Neeson, but at almost 60 years of age he is a bit too old to play the action hero type. I had a hard time buying he was capable of jogging a mile without hurting his knees, let alone beat up 50 men.

What really blows my mind is how many people actually liked this film? I knew it was going to be bad when we have the concert scene at the beginning where Liam Neeson is security to pop-star ‘Sheerah’ (seriously) and some dude with a knife tries to attack her.

Oh and kudos to Leland Orser for playing a role where he DOES NOT freak out for once.

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9 Responses to “Taken – Movie Review (it sucked)”

  1. James October 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Excellent review, you nailed everything I didn’t like about this movie! Especially the part about how serendipitous things were for Neeson’s character. It got way too ridiculous and I practically rolled my eyes going “yeah right…” the entire movie.

  2. Riscark November 10, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    What? So you thought that your review was that good? Actually, I can give explanations to your fuzzy and wizzy misregarded goofs:

    • Photo taken by french guy at airport happened to have reflection
    My Answer : They took a picture NEAR THE AIRPORT, and so the airport have those shiny and sparkly things which can make things reflect visually.

    •French guy was still at airport
    My Answer : Is there anything wrong in this point? Did he get killed when he called the kidnappers? Or when the kidnapping is already happening? THEY ARE FINDING ANOTHER GIRL TO PIRATE.
    • Former friend in french police involved in entire thing
    My Answer: Yes he is, because his ”DESK” was all about security on clubs, prostitute area (like the construction site), and others.
    • Prostitute he antagonizes in Paris just happens to have a pimp who is involved in his daughters disappearance.
    My Answer : This is totally nonsense. Are you just telling an event that happened in the movie?
    • Shipping container in construction yard just happens to have girl who borrowed his daughters jacket.
    My Answer : There are chances that they met on the ”Rue Paradis” area, and Kim ”GAVE” it to her, she didn’t borrow it as the girl says “She was nice.”
    •Girl he rescues from construction yard just happens to remember exact street address of house she was taken to.
    My Answer : The prostitute got problem in the senses, also in thinking. But Bryan Mills injected something that can cure those, DIDN’T YOU REMEMBER?
    • When he visits that place, the same exact guy who said ‘good luck’ not only just happens to be there, but out of ALL THE MEN in the room, the ONE guy who reads Liam Neesons written statement just HAPPENS to be the SAME GUY.
    My Answer: Of course, as you heard or see, Bryan asked ”Who is Marko?” or something else like that, everyone answered ”We’re all Marko.” “Who is Marko from Tropoja?” said Bryan. “We’re all from Tropoja.” they said.
    So everyone must be in the same look, but Bryan still remembered Marko (the leader)’s voice. Therefore they aren’t just one guy.
    • When Liam Neeson is tied up about to be killed, he JUST HAPPENS to be tied up against loose pipe that is filled with hot steam.
    My Answer : In this moment now, we will call it ”Lack of common sense.” What, are you born without it? Of course, he could use ”FORCE” to take down the pipe.
    • When Liam Neeson visits the girl auction, he HAPPENS to walk in JUST as his OWN DAUGHTER is being auctioned.
    My Answer : No. He walked in when the 2nd last girl is auctioned.

    Is this all you ”GOT” on reviewing movies?

    • bboyneko November 10, 2010 at 11:34 am #

      Photo taken by french guy at airport happened to have reflection
      My Answer : They took a picture NEAR THE AIRPORT, and so the airport have those shiny and sparkly things which can make things reflect visually.

      Yes..exactly. It is an enormous coincidence that there just happened to a reflection clear enough to identifiy the bad guy. Look at every single photo you have ever taken. I guarantee you MAYBE 1% have a clear reflection of you, and almost always only if you took a photo through glass, and usually the camera heavily obstructs your face. This is the first lead Liam Neeson has in the movie, and it a total coincidence. He might as well have sat down for a coffee and overheard people talking about the American girls they kidnapped.

      Former friend in french police involved in entire thing
      My Answer: Yes he is, because his ”DESK” was all about security on clubs, prostitute area (like the construction site), and others.

      Yes, but again you miss the point. I understand his position in french law enforcement places him within the jurisdiction of prostitution and clubs etc. But it is a ridiculous coincidence that this very man was friends with Liam, AND that he is in on the whole thing. Its lazy writing that is trying too hard to create drama.

      • Prostitute he antagonizes in Paris just happens to have a pimp who is involved in his daughters disappearance.
      My Answer : This is totally nonsense. Are you just telling an event that happened in the movie?

      How is it nonsense? What are the chances that out of the probably hundreds if not thousands of prostitutes, he happens to pick the ONE that has a pimp that is DIRECTLY involved with his daughter’s disappearance?

      • Shipping container in construction yard just happens to have girl who borrowed his daughters jacket.
      My Answer : There are chances that they met on the ”Rue Paradis” area, and Kim ”GAVE” it to her, she didn’t borrow it as the girl says “She was nice.”

      Yes, but it is a VERY amazing good stroke of luck that the very shipping container Liam visited had this girl, AND that she borrowed the jacket.

      • When Liam Neeson is tied up about to be killed, he JUST HAPPENS to be tied up against loose pipe that is filled with hot steam.
      My Answer : In this moment now, we will call it ”Lack of common sense.” What, are you born without it? Of course, he could use ”FORCE” to take down the pipe.

      Next time you are in an industrial area with pipes, take a tug at any random pipe. Those things are solid as hell. You could easily do pull ups with weights attached to your ankles and not budge them.

      • When Liam Neeson visits the girl auction, he HAPPENS to walk in JUST as his OWN DAUGHTER is being auctioned.
      My Answer : No. He walked in when the 2nd last girl is auctioned.

      Regardless, he walks in at the same general time as his daughter’s auction. Enormous coincidence. I can suspend disbelief once or twice in a movie, but the movie is just an endless series of happy coincidences. Liam Neeson is Forest Gump with a gun.

  3. James December 1, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Riscark, go back to the rock you crawled out from under. Just about everything you said validated what bboyneko was saying in the first place. Some of your answers began with “there is a chance” which is exactly what the poster is saying…out of thousands of people in that little town Liam finds exactly what he needs when he needs it. Pipes break when he needs them to, drugged and beaten prostitutes suddenly can remember exactly where they were taken to while under the influence of drugs and remember how they obtained a potential prostitutes jacket…come on now.

    Then your explanation of Liam in the room with the Albanians is ridiculous. They all said “we are all Marko” and Liam has a superpower that can pinpoint an exact voice he heard days ago with them all speaking simultaneously? Please…

  4. Art February 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Perhaps if this was as long as Schindler’s List then the writers could have taken the time to expand all of the “coincidences” so as to show Liam’s many road blocks in his efforts to get clues leading to his daughter. At face value, I think this was a very good movie. For those of us who have children, we can RELATE to the theme and share in the parents grief in this movie.

    This is not about nationality in that this could happen very easily in America, and has many times. But in reality, there are no heros like Liam to save our children.

    If you want a really DEEP story line with magnificent dialogue, then go read a book.

    In my opinion, this movie was well written considering the major themes and time constraints. Great movie!

  5. Julia March 26, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    I must correct you on your serious lack of knowledge on human traffiking. Your highly naive comment as follows:

    “A gang of Albanians is kidnapping western girls, drugging them, turning them into prostitutes and selling them to rich sheiks. There are THOUSANDS of WILLING girls who go to the Harems of the sheiks. There is no need to spark international incidents by kidnapping people of other sovereign nations. Blond American girls are not THAT great.”

    Your comment “Same goes for prostitution. Last time I checked there was not a prostitute shortage”. Have you any idea how huge the human traffking business is and how it supplies 1000’s of women to the prostitution industry. Next time you “check” have a look at the girls arms and general emotional wellbeing and maybe you’ll notice something different.

    As a “British” girl (a sovereign nation citizen I guess) who narrowly escaped being traffiked by a group of Morrocans off a main street in Brussels, I have to point out that traffikers have high value clients for Western women and we are being traffiked every day!!!!

    And a comment like “Blond American girls are not THAT great.” is a disgraceful comment – I sincerely hope that no females who you know are ever caught up in this – maybe this kind of thought is what it will take for you to realise how bad this comment really is.

    The film highlighted a very important issue that has to be taken very seriously. I was pleased the see the film as it was what nearly happened to me. I hope more films are made on this subject so things will change and this disgusting industry (worth more than Coca Cola Inc) is shut down.

    It’s fine commenting on a film but when you start making statements on real organised crime – get your facts straight and do the research.

    Even spoilt brats do not deserve to be traffikked – no-one does!!!

  6. Jennifer Couch June 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    I agree with the comment above…obviously this reviewer isn’t educated on the tragedy of human trafficking that goes on each and every day. It is a FICTIONAL movie but brings to the front for discussion a very REAL problem in our world. Get the facts!

  7. Gtwo0 December 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    WTF Mr. Reviewer! How dare you talk this trash. I hope you feel very ignorant for your review and sad comments. Did you ever think, hhmmm, perhaps bryan tracked down the pimp= Aha, he obviously must have tracked down the ALBANIAN PIMP, because he rented a car, a translator, and bought all sorts of gadgets to track the ALBANIAN PIMP!!! You just wanted to say this movie sucked, hoping that others will “Dude, wtf is up wit this movie” or how ’bout this “Oh my gosh, You sir are right this movie sucked”.? When in dire fact, YOU SUCK MR. REVIEWER, YOU SUCK FOR SITTING IN A MOVIE THEATER, AND SAYING “H.MM, I DON’T THINK THIS MOVIE IS ANY GOOD CAUSE THE MAIN CHARACTER(WHO HAS TRAINING AND HAS EXPERIENCE AT SEARCHING FOR THINGS, HENCE THE PHRAISE PREVENTER) LOOKS AT A SHINY BOX AND REMEMBERS THAT SHINY BOXES HAVE REFLECTIONS. DUMB ASS REVIEWER, YOU ARE NOT VERY SMART, WHICH IS WHY IF YOU WERE PUT IN THIS SITUATION; YOUR FUCKING DAUGHTER WOULD WAK RIGHT PASS YOU IN A WIG AND YOU WOULD JUST LOOK AT THE SKY( WHILE LISTENING TO THAT OLE SPONGEBOB THEME SONG) ! WHO KNOWS, YOU MIGHT EVEN LYE DOWN IN BED WITH HER, CAUSE YOU ARE SO STUPID.

    ps. Read Up next time son, there are peple who have actually done everything in this movie, but ofcourse they can’t tell you!

  8. greg April 22, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    if bboyneko had not made the misinformed comments about the prostitutes/slavery world his review is solid. all i can say is many, many people are too easily satisfied. read a single book on screenwriting and you will very quickly see that this movie violates every single basic tenant. it is like watching a movie that was written to highlight poor and lazy screenwriting. just because someone is satisfied with eating dirt does not make dirt taste good. instead of being satisfied with this garbage demand more of yourself and the fillmmaker. i am not even going to get into specifics after reading the embarrassing rebuttal of riscark. btw, i know this thread is old, but i just watched the unrated film on dvd tonight. yikes….

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