The storyline of Taken isn’t particularly spectacular or original. Ex-special forces agent Bryan Mills is on the phone with his daughter just before she is kidnapped while on holiday in Paris. With his various “talents and abilities” he begins his relentless vigilante rampage through the French gutters to rescue her.
Taken has Liam Neeson as the leading man in this action thrill ride. He is convincing as both the brooding father and action hero. He could be likened to James Bourne of the Bourne trilogy, except throw in a daughter, a disgruntled ex-wife and an extra 15 years to our man with a mission.
The script is co-written by Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element) and is directed by Pierre Morel (13th District). This lethal pairing of Besson and Morel delivered the high octane 13th District in 2006. They have since evolved and sharpened their craft to produce an action feature that is drum-tight and razor sharp. The action is relentless to the point where audiences can forgive the lack of Hollywood frills as well as character and plot development. Taken is not a feature length film. It is an extended fight sequence.
It is clear that this movie was not intended to push the envelope or contend for a spot as a classic. Taken is focused and single-minded its mission of providing pure grit and bloody-knuckled action. In this, it has met its mark with pin-point accuracy. Those that derive a deep (if slightly twisted) satisfaction from watching lone vigilantes torture and destroy bad guys will undoubtedly have their fill.