Directed by Pierre Morel
An ex-CIA agent springs into action when his daughter is kidnapped.
There’s nothing lofty about Taken’s intentions, said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. The film, starring Liam Neeson, wants to be nothing more than a “simple, straight-ahead action thriller,” and in that respect it succeeds. Neeson, an overprotective father and retired CIA agent, reluctantly allows his 17-year-old daughter to travel to Paris. His worst fears prove warranted when a ruthless gang abducts her. Neeson then transforms into a “vengeful superdad” who will get his daughter back, “come hell or high melodrama,” said Michael Sragow in the Baltimore Sun. In Taken, “father knows best in the worst way.” French director Pierre Morel piles on the dramatic twists, said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. “Unafraid of sentimentality,” he nevertheless keeps everything moving swiftly and doesn’t let heavy emotions weigh down the film. Taken’s producer, Luc Besson, a central figure in the French movement known as cinéma du look, reveals his influence in the film’s “crisp and fast” pace. Together he and Morel have produced a “pointless” film—but a pretty entertaining one.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- California's epic drought
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- How to develop and defend smart opinions
- 10 things you need to know today: September 20, 2014
Subscribe to the Week