Reviewer taken with ‘Taken’

Regina Budden

Previews are often misleading. They tell a little of the story, then throw in as many of the funny lines as they can, but the actual movie leaves much to be desired. Not so with “Taken.” The whole movie was just as edgy and nail biting as the previews.

The lead role, played by Liam Neeson, is that of Bryan Mills, a government agent of some kind (the movie is intriguingly vague as to exactly what kind) who has given up his well-paying, high-risk job to settle down into suburban life. He wants to be closer to his 17-year-old daughter, Kim, played by Maggie Grace. His life seems dull now in a lonely suburban life. He competes with his catty ex-wife and her exorbitantly rich husband for the attentions of an immature girl who takes her perfect life for granted.

Mills’ skills from his old job come in handy, though, when Kim and a friend go to Paris and are marked out for prostitution by a crime ring. Mills is told he has 96 hours to find his daughter before she becomes absolutely untraceable.

This movie has all of the makings of a good action film. Neeson gives an unforgettable performance as a man who has lost it all for love of country, wronged by those that mean the most to him. As he hunts down his daughter’s captors, he is a juggernaut of righteousness, almost a saintly James Bond. There is essentially no character development, but it fits perfectly. The static characterization makes it easy to hate the “bad guys” and l-o-v-e Bryan Mills. And what’s not to love? There is an angry American father, who will stop at nothing to find his child and he is fighting the overwhelming odds of foreign crime bosses, rings of secrecy and (a favorite American movie theme) the corrupt French government.

The most negative effect of the movie will be for those who wish to travel soon after, because it leaves you with the feeling that there is truly “no place like home.”