PG-13 action movies usually fall under the category of either a pile of shit, or a flaming pile of shit. But, that is not the case with this one! The expectations I had for this movie were far surpassed.
Ok, so this movie is about this guy named Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) who has a daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) who lives with her mother (Famke Janssen) that is a complete bitch. He quit is dangerous job with the government and retired to be closer to Kim. She wants to go on a trip to France, but Brian doesn't want her to because it isn't safe without an adult with her because she is 17. Her mother basically makes the guy feel so guilty about saying no, that he eventually gives in and lets her. But, after less than a full day in Paris she gets kidnapped by a gang of recruiters for human trafficking. So, he has to use his kickass secret agent (or whatever he used to be) skills to fly across the country and gets her back within 96 hours.
I choose to watch it mostly because I wanted to have a good time, joke around with some friends, and watch someone kick 18 levels of ass with a smile. But, Die Hard isn't in theaters and neither is Lethal Weapon, so I thought 'oh, fine. i will just have to settle for Taken' (it's either that or Hotel for Mother Fucking Dogs... GAG!). The movie is VERY good. I might just be a little incredulous because my expectations were so low..... but, whatever. I liked it. :)
The acting was very good! Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Xander Berkeley, Katie Cassidy, and Jon Gries all did a good job. The only thing I didn't really like to much, was there were a couple times where the man who was so incredibly worried about his daughter, kind of seemed to drift into being more focused on other things (even though he was under a time limit). But those were overcome quickly. So, they weren't too noticeable. But, that is a VERY picky complaint. They had the traditional type of dramatic dialogue that is in pretty much every action movie, the type that is accompanied with a cold stare and the spastic muscle twitches as everyone reaches for a gun. But, at the same time there are these brilliant bits of wordplay and dialogue, that just numb your fingers and makes you clench your throat. I love that. If you are going to a movie like this for the 'deep words' or the 'heartfelt emotions', then you shouldn't be seeing it. If that's the case for you, then go rent Steel Magnolias or P.S. I Love You. This is Liam Neeson kicking ass, and not giving a shit about any of it. A thing of beauty...
The effects.... what do you expect? An explosion, some gunfights, a car chase. It's all there. I, personally, live for that kind of shit in movies. So, I was happy. He jumps off some high places, gets in a couple fist fights, and saves a couple of damsels in distress. I'm telling you that this man is cold. C-O-L-D, cold. He wants his daughter back, and he isn't afraid to do anything to get her back. I can kind of see that their first intention might have been to make this a rated-R movie. There are a couple times where you can tell they wanted to take it a little further than they did, but choose to hold back. I'm guessing that was completely a business move. But, no worries.
Overall, it was very well executed and fit its part very well. You leave getting everything you expected, and are satisfied. I've fallen in love again ...
9 out of 10 :)