Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #344 Taken

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2011 at 3:14 AM

Movie #344 Taken

(2008, US, d. Luc Besson)

Director Luc Besson has a strange knack for taking films that sound like they will be terrible and turning them into real knockouts. Most of this has to with the incredible visuals he is displaying on screen, rather than the measure of a good story itself: well, story. I’m not going to say Taken mends any of these problems. In fact, it doesn’t. The story is bland, the characters are obvious and one-dimensional, and apart from surface level plot twists, nothing thematically surprising ever occurs. But that said, Taken also has the supreme advantage of being totally bad-ass. Who would have thought that putting an older character actor most average movie goers may not have heard of in a major action flick would have paid off? And paid off well, at that. Liam Neeson plays the father vowing for revenge of a recently kidnapped child as well as her discovery. Of course, he also happens to be an ex-CIA/bodyguard/secret agent kinda guy. But for some reason, Besson’s camera tricks pull off the film. They hypnotize the audience into thinking that what is going on is cool, what is going on is crazy, and what is going on is actual material of quality. Needless to say, the action in this film is actually quite above-par, filled with many a moment when the audience can look to their neighbor and say, “Wow! That was totally cool! Did you just see that?” And you can reply, “Wow! That was totally cool! Did you just see that? Then you both smile and nod and look back to the screen. Neeson is able to pull of this one-dimensional character though. You can see him searching for some truth within this guy and for a lot of the film, it seems as if he has found it. But there are times when it doesn’t. But hey, at least the action is still cool. It’s a fun film, needless to say, and a great movie to watch with people you’re just kickin’ it with.

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