Friday, March 6, 2009

In my living room: Taken

Next up in my ongoing series of movie reviews we have Taken. Liam Neeson plays Bryan, an ex-CIA agent who moves to L.A. to be closer to his estranged 17-year old daughter, Kim. Kim lives in the lap of luxury with her mother and rich step-father, and gets an opportunity to go to Paris for the summer with her friend Amanda. Bryan is reluctant to let her go, but eventually gives in. He gives Kim a cell phone with his number programed inside and makes her swear to call him when she lands and every night before she goes to bed. Kim and Amanda land in Paris and are immediately flirted with by a handsome French dude named Peter. He takes their picture and charms them into sharing a cab into the city, saying that cab fare is "so expensive." They arrive at Amanda's aunt's apartment and Peter invites them to a party that night. Amanda reveals that her relatives are away for the summer and Peter asks what apartment they're staying in, and that he'll be back that evening to pick them up. In the apartment, Kim gets nervous about being alone without Amanda's aunt and uncle, and answers a phone call from her father. She moves across the apartment to talk to her father and can see through a courtyard window that men have broken into the apartment and are kidnapping her friend. She relays what she sees to her father over the phone, and he gives her directions about what to do next. Kim leaves the phone on as she is pulled kicking and screaming from under a bed and Bryan listens intently to the commotion. One of the kidnappers picks up the phone and Bryan vows to him that he will find the men that took his daughter. A series of events takes place and Bryan finds out that the kidnappers are Albanian human traffickers. Bryan travels to Paris and uses his CIA skills to try and find his daughter.

This movie is so fast-paced from start to finish, that I barely had a chance to think about what was going on. There are some really awesome fight scenes, but everything takes place so quickly that you don't have a chance to think, "Yeah, right, like that would ever happen." I love a badass good guy, and Liam Neeson definitely does not hesitate to eff a bitch up to save his daughter. On a more serious note, the film is a pretty informative glimpse into the world of human trafficking. I found myself thinking, "Holy crap, is that really what they do to these girls?" on more than one occasion. The fact that the screenplay is based on such a serious, deplorable issue makes it that much more believable. All in all, a pretty good action thriller.

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