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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Taken By TAKEN

Have you seen TAKEN? It's amazing! There's people smashing through windows, people getting shot square in the head, people being tortured----- all the things I DISLIKE in movies (and in life too, of course). But in this film? AMAZING! Everything that happens is justified.



The film is 89 minutes long. I wish all films were 89 minutes long. The great thing about TAKEN is that enough happens to make it a four hour film, but it isn't, it's just 89 minutes. Everything is short and to the point-- it rips through each scene like a rollercoaster on a mission. In fact, the way the film is packed together is as if it was edited by the character himself, BRYAN (played by LIAM NEESON). Unfortunately, Bryan can't edit films-- but he can kick everybody's ass and will always be ten seconds ahead of you if you plan on shooting him in the head. Bryan is retired; but in his previous work he was; well, I'm not sure-- the film may have explained but to be honest I'm not very good at remembering details. But he worked for the government as a spy, or something similar where you get to do important things and kill people in the national interest. 


Anyhow -- the film absolutely flies! It begins with opening credits and then, I swear, it's immediately fifty minutes into the film. It just flies by! So what makes this film so watchable? There's no bullshit, that's what it is. No over-complication. There's two things you need to know. 1) Bryan is trained in killing and is the best there is, and 2) His daughter has been kidnapped. 

By sheer coincidence, he happens to be on the phone when his daughter gets kidnapped. I know that sounds ridiculous but, when you're watching the film, you'll go with it. Trust me. Bryan is such an expert in these situations that he's able to stay calm and, in the midst of his daughter's kidnapping (while she's in France) he's able to set up an audio recording, instruct his daughter on specific things to do, and he probably updated his Facebook status too.


The film is the most concise film I've ever seen. It's so compact. But not in a boring way. It just doesn't waste any time. After five minutes, we know everything about the main characters -- a lesser writer and director would spend twenty five minutes following the family around trying to explain everything. Not here. Opening scenes = A Father. A Father struggling to be there for his daughter, and struggling to communicate with his ex-wife. The daughter deciding to travel. The Father trying to help his daughter to be a singer. 



That's all we need to know. And then she travels. And get's kidnapped. And the rest of the film is him trying to find his daughter, gain the respect of his ex-wife, and then maybe help her be a singer like she always dreamed. That's all we need to know! That's all Bryan would know, because he's that kind of guy. He runs around a lot and gets down to business and doesn't even stop to pee or eat a sandwich. He does this because he knows his character only has 89 minutes to exist before disappearing into film history. 


A great movie! Please watch it!

Care to share?

25 comments:

  1. You're right on. I really think Liam Neeson was perfect fot this movie. It didn't seem like his kind of role, but he nailed it.

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  2. I usually hate action movies, but I loved Taken. Liam Neeson is my latest older man crush after this one!

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  3. You've just been announced as today's Blog Of Note on Blogger. Welcome to the club, and congratulations.

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  4. YES! Oh my goodness, yes. Absolutely loved the script (didn't even read anything else for a while, wanted to let that distilled perfection steep in my brain), loved the movie. What a fabulous job those guys did, Luc Besson (such a talent, loved fifth element), Robert Mark Kamen, and Pierre Morel. And I have a new favorite threat to a bad guy (I don't know who you are...). And I only had to look away a little bit during movie, violence was decently handled.

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  5. Saw it. Loved it. Would watch it again. My favorite scene part of the whole thing is when he's trying to instruct her before she gets kidnapped. Good stuff.

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  6. Check This Out Crazy
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  7. I'm going to join in with the: YES! Such a simple premise that it makes you care about the violence. No politics, no complications. Just a father doing everything he can to get his daughter back from evil, evil people. 89 minutes of justice. At no point do you think he's going to fail. Pure, driven fun.

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  8. Liam Neeson could do just about anything in a movie and I'd watch him. But when he's efficiently kicking the crap out of people for an hour and a half, it does not getter better than that.

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  9. I get that it's pacey and entertaining but I'm confused that no one has brought up any negatives yet... blatant racism and complete implausability? no?

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  10. Fabulous post. I really enjoyed Taken and need to go back and watch it again. I do agree with Jess that it did have its downsides (and when I was watching it, they did annoy me a bit), but as a purely escapist flick, it did the job and did it very well.

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  11. Taken is no better than your average action flick. Substitute Arnie, Stallone or Statham for Neeson and you have any no brainer from the past thirty years. The lack of exposition you speak of is present in most stupid action movies: He's a cop who's partner has been killed, his family were blown up, his cat got shat on, they made a big mistake! It's exactly what Shane Black was taking the piss out of in "Last Action Hero".

    Add to this the ridiculous contrivances, the illogical xenophobia (don't go to Europe, you'll be kidnapped and sold into sex slavery!) and the invincible hero and you have a pretty average actioner.

    Don't get me wrong, Taken is an entertaining flick and I'm a sucker for a righteous revenge crusade, but to call it an amazing film is preposterous. The only thing that sets it apart from a Transporter movie is the pompous, humourless tone and a lead actor who lends it an unwarranted degree of gravitas in spite of his indeterminate transatlantic accent.

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  12. Hey all, I'm really glad to see that most of you love it too.

    Jess-- I'm sorry to hear that you're confused by us focusing on the positive parts of the movie. If I think about it intellectually then, sure, it's implausible; but I didn't feel it during the movie I was just swept away and having a good time!

    As for being racist. I get that. The Albanians in the film are portrayed badly. If that's what you're referring too, then I understand - but I don't agree. I don't think every time a race or ethnicity is portrayed badly in a film it equals racism - and I don't see the film as outlining particular traits of them, as Albanians-- but as I mentioned in my post, I was swept away in the movie and may have missed out on those details; so you could well be right. That's interesting.

    Re: Xenophobia. Sure, you can say that about Neeson's character- but for me that was what made it so powerful. Neeson's character had to be that way. Unless you're implying the filmmakers are implying you'll be sold into sex slavery if you go to Paris; in which case; the director and one of the writers are French; so maybe they know more than we do!

    But mostly, Unwashed Mass, I'm baffled by your authoritative tone; as if you happen to know better than everyone else who has a higher opinion of the movie. There's really no need to use this kind of tone among blogging peers, many of whom think a great deal of you. Otherwise; you'll be the one labelled with a "pompous, humourless tone."

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  13. I loved Taken! I thought it was one of the first decent action flicks in a while. The Kid in the Front Row, you may have written about it in the past but i'm curious as to what you thought about Shoot Em' Up?I personally LOVED it.

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  14. I'm not confused, I just like to look at a film from all angles. If that's not your style that's fine, but I am glad I could point out something you missed!

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  15. Kid, mate, how was my tone any more authoritative than your proclamation that Taken is a "great movie"? You know me, you know how I write, and you cannot expect me to stand by while a "blogger of note" such as yourself makes such an erroneous claim!

    Please explain to me how Taken is superior to films such as The Transporter, the above-mentioned Shoot 'em Up or, more importantly, the Bourne movies. I stand by my claim that Taken is an entertainingly silly and crass action movie and nothing more.

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  16. I think the voice modulation of Liam Neeson was fantastic. He clearly visualized how the movie should be.

    Thanks
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  17. I've seen a preview of the movie, but it didn't inspire me to watch it, but your review does!

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  18. Personally, I loved the movie. I've never been a huge fan of Liam Neeson, he seems to have a "niche" that he excels in, and this film fit that "niche" well.

    I don't think the idea was preposterous at all. Having a teenage daughter of my own, I think it was a very well put together picture on the dangers of assuming that "nothing bad will ever happen to me". It does sadly enough and in situations like this, it's all the more probable.

    Is that to say that we should all lock our teenage children up or fear them being sold into slavery? Not at all, but it's never a bad idea to be FULLY assured of what our kids are doing and where, and inform them of the dangers of going about every day life in a way that won't make them completely paranoid.

    Now, would I say that taken is one of the best films of all time? Nah. But then again films are supposed to serve a purpose and that purpose is to entertain us. Taken certainly did that from start to finish.

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  19. I would agree with the majority that this a very good film. This is probably onr of the better movies I have seen in a while.

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  20. IIIII LOOOOOVVVEEE TTTAAAAAAAKKKEEEEENNNN!! Yes, I love it enough to add letters to words and write in caps.

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