Taken - DVD Review

'witness his first take down of a bad dude with a knife, easy-peasy, squash his head and break his arm in two, squeezy'

When Taken was released I remember a flurry of reviews from bloggers and forum users in America giving it rave ratings. The weird thing was, these came significantly after the English reviews. The only possible conclusion (without having done a shred of research) is that the release dates were back to front from the norm and rather different. Which normally only means one thing. Someone, somewhere, wasn't entirely happy.

And on watching Taken you can see why. It's not a great script or plot but it's at least functionally standard action movie fare. Ex-Covert Ops specialist Liam Neeson's daughter has been kidnapped. All he has as a starting point is a recording of the kidnapper and a whole-lot of willing to do all kinds of dirty deeds.

The parallels with Bourne are relatively immediate (fair enough, Bourne is looking for his identity, not his daughter, but it's a very similar plot arch) and once the film kicks in they become even more apparent. The gritty action and shakier camera views of the Greengrass flicks are all present and correct and the ever-deepening mystery where the audience faces reveals at the same pace as the character all play a prominent role in crafting Taken.

So far so standard. So what's up with it? Well in short, Neeson. As a grizzled old-time hero he'd be great but in the role of Bourne-esque Superman, not so much. Witness his first take down of a bad dude with a knife, easy-peasy, squash his head and break his arm in two, squeezy. And things really don't get much harder for him. Sure he has to take a few punches, but you never really feels he's under threat, which he really should be if the film had any aspirations above merely average.

Mainly due to this but with the aid of some 'my-best-friends-got-a-satellite' level plotting, Taken never really creates an air of believability from start to finish. Standard action fare that's worse than standard action fare.

1 comment:

  1. Best action film since the last Bourne movie in my opinon. Sorry you didn't enjoy it.