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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Xander Berkeley and Holly Valance
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 09 February 2009

Former secret agent Bryan Mills begins the longest 96 hours of his life - in the hunt for the organisation that has taken his daughter Kim. When Kim, who lives with Bryan’s ex-wife, and a friend want to travel to Paris, Bryan allows her to go on the basis she calls him every night before she goes to bed... Bryan’s worst fears are realized when Kim and Amanda are suddenly abducted from the Paris apartment at which they’ve just arrived. Moments before Kim is dragged away, she manages to phone Bryan, who begins to piece together clues that will take him to the darkness of Paris’s underworld...

Taken is a fairly intense thriller from French director Pierre Morel. The film is also produced and co-written by Luc Besson. The movie sees ex-secret agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) on the trail of a group of men who have kidnapped his daughter in order to sell her into prostitution. The men don't know about Bryan's past and so are not expecting him to ruthlessly track them down in a bid to get his daughter back in one piece.

On the positive side this movie is pretty brutal as far as its fight sequences are concerned. Bryan does anything to get the job done, caring little for the lives of the criminals. While this makes the film a little uncomfortable to watch in places, it does make for a much more believable character.

The biggest problem I had was the fact that our hero jumps from situation to situation without the script actually explaining how he worked things out. For example how on earth did Bryan know that Kim was staying in the fifth floor apartment? Or even that apartment? And instead of breaking in, why not ask his old French police friend for help in gaining access to the building?

Now this is either sloppy script writing or the director giving the audience way to much credit in the way they will piece together the string of events that finally lead to the movie's conclusion. But then if the later is the case, why does he sloppily present us with Bryan's history with his wife and daughter? At the start of the movie there's a lot of back story that has to be fed to the audience, but it's not very well thought through. It's a bit like your partner coming up to you out of the blue and saying: "Hey! You remember that time... why did you...?"

Extras include Le Making of (18 min, 22 sec behind the scenes featurette); Avante Premiere (4 min, 36 sec interviews with cast and crew at the French premiere); Inside Action: Side by Side (11 min, 7 sec look at a handful of scenes from behind the camera and the finished item); and trailers for other movies.

While Taken is an entertaining enough thriller, just don't think to hard about the plot or the entire movie will fall apart in front of your eyes. All in all I have to admit that I wasn't overly taken with the end result.


Nick Smithson

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