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on February 15, 2013
Fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it in theaters. Not that i want to compare the movies themselves, but this had the same feeling of surprise and wow as when I watched V for Vendetta.

It was a simple concept that captivated you quickly and wasted no time in small talk. Everything, each scene whether small or big had meaning in them. The scene that is the most emotional in a sense, was when Bryan talks to the kidnappers, it grabs you and afterwords, you can imagine in how much sh_t they are in without realizing it.

Beautiful and worth rewatching again and again.
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I'm not a big fan of action movies. They tend to focus on violence and killing as many people as possible in the most original ways, but a select few have more depth. Taken falls into the latter category.

Why is it so good?

If you had told me that a 56-year-old actor would make one of the best action movies I've ever seen, I would have laughed and thought how bad Roger Moore's version of James Bond was in A View to a Kill and Octopussy. Action movies often feature actors who look the part, but who can't really act. Arnold Schwarzenegger springs to mind. Liam Neeson changes all that with this one performance. He doesn't look like he could take on the world, but his acting ability is so good that he convinces you that he's capable of everything he does in the movie.

Bryan Mills (Neeson) used to work for the government as a CIA operative. He still associates with friends from his previous job, but he's given up that career in an attempt to get closer to his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). She lives with his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), and her rich stepfather. When Mills takes Kim a thoughtful gift on her seventeenth birthday, her stepfather gives her a horse. Mills doesn't seem to have a chance of winning her respect. What's more, Lenore apparently hates him.

Mills is given another chance to make a connection with Kim when she asks him to sign a consent form so that she can leave the country for a vacation. As she's 17, she needs the permission of both parents. Mills isn't happy about the idea. He's seen a lot of criminal activity in his former line of work and understands the dangers involved. Is he just being paranoid? His dire warnings seem exaggerated, but we soon see that they are justified.

Kim goes to Paris with her 19-year-old friend and trusts everyone she meets. The day she arrives, an Albanian gang take her and her friend captive. We learn that they intend to control her through drugs and turn her into a prostitute, or perhaps even sell her to a willing buyer.

Perhaps the best moment in the movie is when Mills talks to Kim's captor on her phone:

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

He says it with absolute conviction.

I won't give away any more of the story. That setup takes around 25 minutes. If I have done a good job, perhaps you can understand why Taken is different. Mills is real. We understand his motives for giving up his job. When Kim is taken, we start to see some of the skills he claims to possess.

If she was your daughter, how would you react? What if you had the requisite skills to seek her out yourself? Is there anything you wouldn't do to save her?

Director Pierre Morel doesn't waste a single minute. At 93 minutes, the movie is lean and the action rarely allows us time to breathe once Mills kicks into action. He's a relentless killing machine, but, unlike most action heroes, his abilities seem authentic. To make things seem even more urgent, we experience everything from his point of view. Expect to see plenty of fast cuts during chase scenes, just as you would in The Bourne Trilogy.

It's easy to root for Mills because of the strong characterization. Neeson excels in this role and carries the movie throughout. I wonder if we'll start to see other good actors cast in action roles as a result? Taken is an enjoyable thrill ride with almost endless replay value.
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"Taken" is a film that keeps you glued to the TV the entire time, the pace is so perfect. There were 3 films made (so far) and this first film is the best one. The others are worth seeing but this one is good for repeated viewings.

Liam Neeson plays a man (a former spy) with a "particular set of skills" that you don't want to mess with. His daughter is kidnapped while travelling to Paris, France and he sets out to get her back. We are bombarded with these "former spy" dark action heros in movies and most of these films have the same thin plots, are made very quickly, rely on lots of effects and just plainly suck! This film works very well. It's mostly hand to hand combat and Neeson is convincing in the role (although by the 3rd film he's starting to look too old).

If you like this film, also check out Neeson in "A Walk Among the Tombstones", which is similar and very good.
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on February 8, 2012
great movie. keeps you guessing. surprise ending. easy to get in to.
not too long. two choices of raitings one for adults and one for early teens
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon May 18, 2016
Taken is a simple film about a former government security agent who goes to France to save his kidnapped daughter. The first quarter sets the premise and the second quarter concentrates on intelligence gathering, which was easily my favorite section. But the second half of Taken drops all pretense and is simply an endless procession of revenge kills against scummy underworld characters and their sleazy clients. You know, where everybody is a lousy shot except the hero. I found the elicited emotions of the film very similar to the old Death Wish films. A friend and I overdosed on revenge films many years back and I've never really regained a taste for them. If you like seeing scores of low-lifes get their bloody comeuppance, then give this one a shot.

The Blu-Ray package looks really good. Since I didn't exactly love this film, I won't go through it all but fans should be pleased. You can watch either the theatrical version (PG-13, only 93 min) or the unrated version. There are standard featurettes, two commentary tracks for the unrated version as well as some interactive viewing feature.
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on August 3, 2014
I was on the edge of my seat during most of this picture. It was VERY good. Of course, Liam Neeson is, perhaps, the biggest reason for this picture being so good. He is so convincing. I am looking forward to seeing "Taken 2". I can only hope that it is as enjoyable as the first "Taken" is. You won't be sorry buying this movie.
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on August 17, 2013
Lots of action in this film. Liam Neeson plays an undercover armed, personal security guard.
Liam's job is pretty straight forward until his daughter is kidnapped in Europe.
This action drama covers the hunt for the daughter with a no holds barred dedication
to find & eradicate/kill the culprits if necessary. Revenge is the theme.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 20, 2013
A retired CIA agent lets his ex-wife twist his arm into letting their daughter round all over Europe. He warned them of the possible and we would not have a movie if the possible did not happen. Yep the daughter was abducted by a ruthless cabal or two to serve in an unsavory capacity.

"Let her go and you won't die." Now how many movies have we heard that in? Well a lot. But Liam Neeson can run with the best of them. He fights the odds and so-called friends to shoot, drive, stab, and what not his way through Sleaze Town and more.

Will he succeed? Will we have fun kibitzing? Why do you find yourself sweating? Oh no you're going to watch it again aren't you?
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on May 4, 2013
Really good movie, it is gripping and it keeps your attention well. The only complaint that I have is that some things are unrealistic; he takes out 100 people over the course of the film. If small details like that don't bother you, I would definitely suggest seeing it. I am in my early twenties and I really enjoyed it, and my parents did as well. Nesson did a fantastic job and is very well-suited for the role, five stars.
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on November 6, 2015
Amazing movie, worth every penny!
Watching this on Blu-Ray rather than DVD gives you the full movie experience!
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