If you're like me, you've probably seen everything you've wanted to see both in theaters and on DVD. You crave something new, and undiscovered. Every now and then, it gives me great joy to see a little known film off the beaten path. Check out Luc Besson's latest film, Taken.
Rumor has it: Liam Neeson was briefly considered to play James Bond before Pierce Brosnan took over. Well, this is as close as he got, and he's GREAT!!!
Taken was released in France as early as February 2008. Why the US release has been pushed to late January this year baffles me. If you haven't guessed, I think THIS FILM ROCKS!!!
Neeson plays a retired CIA man, Brian Mills, a "Preventer" of sorts (kidnappings, coups, etc. etc.). Though a little older, he's still razor sharp in his skills and his old buddies are trying to convince him to join their Blackwater-ish private military company. Mills will have none of that stuff anymore. All he wants to do is spend time with his 17 year-old daughter. As devoted as he was to government business, he always made sure to be there for her birthdays.
Well, all bets are off when Mills' daughter is abducted during a Summer trip to Paris. From there, we see how ruthlessly determined Mills is to get his daughter back at any cost. For such a character actor like Liam Neeson (with the exception of Darkman), I was surprised how action-filled this film was. Mills could almost give John McClane and Jason Bourne a run for their money.
Plot-wise, it's very similar to David Mamet's Spartan (with Val Kilmer) a few years ago. The dialogue isn't as sharp as Mamet's rapidfire screenplay, but Taken more than makes up for it with Liam Neeson doing some very cool close quarter engagements. Taken is far from flawless. Some of the minor characters I thought were grossly underused. Famke Janssen (X-Men series) has little more than a cameo here, and why didn't any of Mills' ex-CIA buddies help volunteer to help out in Paris?
In any case, the film is definitely a lot of fun and well-worth checking out. Taken opens in the US officially on January 30th.