Film Reviews


Twentieth Century Fox

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for a ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career in the shadows that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter do now, that will be the end of it, I will not look for you, I will not peruse you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you”

I had to open this review with this very shocking, honest and dramatic statement spoken in this film by a father to a kidnapper. Taken tells the story of how Bryan (Liam Neeson), an ex-CIA “Provender”, must travel to Paris and recall all his old skills and contacts to recover his daughter, who has been kidnapped by sex-traffickers; he has 96 hours to find her, or he will lose her forever.

Whether you want to call it a thriller or an action film, Taken has many nail biting moments, some of which increase your suspense when surrounded by the anxious music; I managed to bite though my pen lid while watching. As far as the action scenes go, this film has gunfire, people getting hit by fast moving vehicles, electrocution, fast cars and jumping from a bridge to a boat. The fighting scenes that Neeson is part of make combat look incredibly easy, I guess making the thought and concentration behind the scenes incredibly difficult but defiantly worthwhile. Some of the most shocking moments come in areas of disbelief and if you are startled by sudden noises or motions be warned some will knock you off you seat.

For me, Liam Neeson wasn’t such a big name to have in a film of such momentum. The last flick I probably saw him in was The Haunting. After his strong and authoritative performance as a concerned and worried father/ex-CIA operative, it is definitely a name I will be looking out for in the future; as he is able to carry himself in both regards excellently. It was also great to see Holly Valance back in the lime light, although she doesn’t seem to shy far away from a role she knows all too well, in this case as a pop Diva.

I was very impressed with Taken as there hasn’t been much hype about it, in comparison to Wanted for example. It is an engaging film that you can’t help but stay in tune with. The only real concern that I gathered was the language barrier that was caused. I don’t speak much French and I do no speak any Albanian, so for someone in my situation, when a film has these languages quite regularly, you would expect some sort of translation. There is none unfortunately, except for a small car scene with a translator but that was only because it was written within the films plot. So unless you want to feel excluded and slightly bewildered, as I did when a few viewers surrounding me began laughing at scenes I was lost in dialogue with, I suggest you focus up on your French and enjoy the ride of a life time, comprendre?

Michelle Moore