$2.50 Reviews: Taken (2008)

$2.50 Reviews:

Taken

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Taken is a 2008 action directed by Pierre Morel. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), is a former CIA agent, and has recently retired so that he can spend more time with his daughter (Maggie Grace). They haven't seen much of each other in the last few years, and he wishes to rekindle the relationship they once had. Soon after moving, he finds out that his daughter is going away to Europe for the summer, meaning he won't get the time alone with her that he wanted. After reluctantly signing the forms allowing her to go, he receives a phone call late at night. Her daughter is telling him that her best friend has been kidnapped, and that the kidnappers were on their way to find her. Calmly telling her what will happen, Mills soon traces the call, and begins the hunt for his now kidnapped daughter.

If you complain about the captions, I will kill you!
Liam Neeson manages to pull off the action hero role

The plot is incredibly simple, taking a slightly different spin-off the classic revenge style of storytelling. The first minutes of the film are set up to allow you to get some depth into the characters, while the rest of the film has Liam Neeson finding people who have information regarding the whereabouts of his daughter, and subsequently beating them up before, during or after they tell him what they know. The subplot of the film deals with the issue of human trafficking, which the film actually somewhat disregards. Mills ends up finding dozens of girls throughout the film who have suffered a similar fate to his daughter, and yet doesn't do anything to save them. You could pass this up to him being a man on a mission, but in all honestly, it seemed somewhat odd to see him not even feel empathy towards these imprisoned people.

As for the acting, there isn't all that much to say. Liam Neeson is great in his role, and his casing actually works well for an action style movie. The rest of the cast doesn't deserve such high praise, which, while unfortunate, doesn't ultimately matter that much. The majority of the other characters within the film are nameless people who have the job of being beaten up by Liam Neeson. The main exception to this being the daughter, played by Maggie Grace. There are a couple of issues I have with this character. For one, she doesn't look seventeen years old. She was around 24-25 while shooting Taken, and she just doesn't quite have the appearance of a seventeen year old. The second issue is less about her age, and more about the fact that her character doesn't seem to have any emotional depth. She gets scared, and she can be happy. There is nothing else that she does, and it takes away from the way the film is set up, as it makes you care less about Bryan Mills' quest, as you don't really care for his daughter.

What I can say about the film is that the story is handled quite well. The character development at the beginning is more or less all that we get in the film, but it is enough to make us empathize with Mills. After his daughter is kidnapped, the film doesn't slow down. That is a good thing. If it had, some of the contrived events might have made it closer to the front of my mind, but since after about 30 minutes in, it is pretty much "all action", I never really had a chance to ponder why certain things actually happened. The quick pacing helped the film stay together, and the action scenes allowed the pacing to work.

If you complain about the captions, I will kill you!
She really doesn't look 17 to me...

Liam Neeson manages to play the action star well, despite the fact that you might think he is physically too old to be one. He is rugged, and actually makes the many fight scenes seem believable. There are also many, many action sequences within the movie, making it an incredibly exciting film to watch. There are many methods that Mills uses to interrogate, punish or just outright kill people, and they get shown in an incredibly brutal manner. Thankfully, the filmmakers kept these scenes as realistic as possible, not using much, if any, CGI blood. The fights feel real, and when a character that you care about it in them, you can really get behind both him, and the fight itself.

Taken is an adrenaline-pumping film. The plot is fairly basic, and keeping it that way actually works towards the film's advantage. It allows more time to be allotted to the action scenes. These scenes are plentiful, as well as exciting. Character development more or less stops occurring after the opening few scenes, but there isn't really any required after that. It basically is just a father hunting down the people who kidnapped his daughter. That is all, but it plays out in an exciting, and interesting way. The acting on the whole is about average, with the main character played by Liam Neeson being well performed, while his daughter detracts from every scene she is in. The supporting cast is not noteworthy, as the majority of the other characters are just there to be beaten on by Liam Neeson. If there was ever a film to convince you of the love that a father has for his children, this is it.

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Another good review. I remember watching this movie a while ago, and laughing along as we watched it. The main character has a certain style I like, and it actually felt really short because of the pace. I kind of want to watch it again.

JRCB:
Another good review. I remember watching this movie a while ago, and laughing along as we watched it. The main character has a certain style I like, and it actually felt really short because of the pace. I kind of want to watch it again.

It actually was fairly short, clocking in at just around an hour and a half.

Ah, Taken, how I love you so. The basic revenge plot driving the awesome action sequences with Liam Neeson being a complete badass make this one of my favourite films. No moralistic BS, just straight up killing until he gets his daughter back. My twisted, sadistic side also found great amusement in what he does to that guy he tortures in France.

As for him ignoring all the other girls he comes across, I think it's more a character trait of his than anything else. I mean, he's ex-CIA and did the sorts of things he does in the film on a regular basis in the past. His daughter is pretty much the only important thing he has left in life.

I remember watching this when it first came out. Being younger I didn't really care about human trafficking but now that you mention it, he doesn't save anyone else but his daughter. I love the torture scenes though. Too bad no waterboarding though. <--favourite kind of interogation

EDIT: I feel like I am a newb compared to you guys- you all have thousands of posts and I only have 400 :(

spartan1077:
EDIT: I feel like I am a newb compared to you guys- you all have thousands of posts and I only have 400 :(

You'll get there eventually, I'm sure. :)

spartan1077:
EDIT: I feel like I am a newb compared to you guys- you all have thousands of posts and I only have 400 :(

Eh, some of us have nothing better to do than post on here. Also, Forum Games & RP and the User Groups can increase your post count a lot.

Marter:

JRCB:
Another good review. I remember watching this movie a while ago, and laughing along as we watched it. The main character has a certain style I like, and it actually felt really short because of the pace. I kind of want to watch it again.

It actually was fairly short, clocking in at just around an hour and a half.

It's funny that we now consider an hour and a half to be rather short. It used to be, back when I was young, that an hour and a half was quite long for a film. Okay, maybe I was too young, and I'm not remembering this correctly. :/

I rather enjoyed this movie. For whatever reason though, I thought it was out in Australia long before everyone started talking about it over in North America. Ah, I just Google'd it, and Taken was released in 2008 in the UK, so I'm assuming it was similar for Australia. So, long and pointless story short, I've heard about this movie for a very, very long time and I figured there was a lot more hype than it was worth, and in turn I waited quite some time before seeing it. Turned out the hype was accurate, and it was worth the watch.

Anyways, another solid review! I think I should start looking for synonyms, hey? >.>

zombiesinc:
It's funny that we now consider an hour and a half to be rather short. It used to be, back when I was young, that an hour and a half was quite long for a film. Okay, maybe I was too young, and I'm not remembering this correctly. :/

I remember those times as well, or at least, when it felt like movies averaged 1.5 hours. Maybe it was just the types of movies people watched when younger though? Like...you were to take a child to the theatre nowadays, what would they see? The last 'kiddie movie' that I can think of coming out was Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. It has a runtime of exactly 90 minutes. What I'm saying is...maybe it wasn't that movies were shorter, but that as you grow older, you see more mature movies, which just happen to be longer.

Anyways, another solid review! I think I should start looking for synonyms, hey? >.>

Maybe I should make an absolutely terrible review? give you something to hate on?

Or continuing to complement me works too. =D

The movie felt ten times shorter than it actually was. Also, I'm pretty sure Bryan Mills turned God-Mode on. It was incredibly entertaining, though. Great review Marter.

zombiesinc:

Marter:

JRCB:
Another good review. I remember watching this movie a while ago, and laughing along as we watched it. The main character has a certain style I like, and it actually felt really short because of the pace. I kind of want to watch it again.

It actually was fairly short, clocking in at just around an hour and a half.

It's funny that we now consider an hour and a half to be rather short. It used to be, back when I was young, that an hour and a half was quite long for a film. Okay, maybe I was too young, and I'm not remembering this correctly. :/

Actually as far as I remember 90 minutes was the standard length of a movie before, not quite long. It's just that you could pretty much expect most movies to be 90 minutes without even watching them. Nowadays not so much, and it's better that way IMO.

OT:Yet another good review, however the format is a bit too similar. Poster on top, well formatted text, and a 1st picture to the left and a 2nd one to the right. Nothing wrong with it, it's very neatly presented, but it would be nice if there was just a little variety in format to keep things fresh from review to review. Your video game reviews, for example, were pretty dynamic in my opinion.

Anyways, just my 2 cents :)
Keep it up!

Sinclose:
Actually as far as I remember 90 minutes was the standard length of a movie before, not quite long. It's just that you could pretty much expect most movies to be 90 minutes without even watching them. Nowadays not so much, and it's better that way IMO.

OT:Yet another good review, however the format is a bit too similar. Poster on top, well formatted text, and a 1st picture to the left and a 2nd one to the right. Nothing wrong with it, it's very neatly presented, but it would be nice if there was just a little variety in format to keep things fresh from review to review. Your video game reviews, for example, were pretty dynamic in my opinion.

Anyways, just my 2 cents :)
Keep it up!

The video game reviews all used the same format too. A picture in the middle after a few paragraphs of text.

Not quite as valid here, as the movie reviews are much shorter.

Any suggestions on a different format you'd like me to try, as I'm quite happy with the current one.

Marter:

Sinclose:
Actually as far as I remember 90 minutes was the standard length of a movie before, not quite long. It's just that you could pretty much expect most movies to be 90 minutes without even watching them. Nowadays not so much, and it's better that way IMO.

OT:Yet another good review, however the format is a bit too similar. Poster on top, well formatted text, and a 1st picture to the left and a 2nd one to the right. Nothing wrong with it, it's very neatly presented, but it would be nice if there was just a little variety in format to keep things fresh from review to review. Your video game reviews, for example, were pretty dynamic in my opinion.

Anyways, just my 2 cents :)
Keep it up!

The video game reviews all used the same format too. A picture in the middle after a few paragraphs of text.

Not quite as valid here, as the movie reviews are much shorter.

Any suggestions on a different format you'd like me to try, as I'm quite happy with the current one.

Well only 3 suggestions off the top of my head, but upto you to see which ones fit best your reviewing style:
-Try to use some colors, like for example, in captions.
-Use other fonts too. Actually, I can't seem to be getting the tags to work on this one >:-(
But you can verify the tags I tried by quoting this, if you want.
-It is also possible to frame pictures and text, if you want to try it. The tags are available by quoting the OP in this thread.

Marter:
Mills ends up finding dozens of girls throughout the film who have suffered a similar fate to his daughter, and yet doesn't do anything to save them. You could pass this up to him being a man on a mission, but in all honestly, it seemed somewhat odd to see him not even feel empathy towards these imprisoned people.

Yeah I had a problem with that as well when I first saw the movie.

I was all "Um...shouldnt he like help these girls out or something?"

Seemed he only cared for his one dimensional daughter.

But I did kinda enjoyed it as a dumb action flick.

 

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