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 Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- 8 things the world's most extraordinary survivors can teach you about resilience
- This week I learned the moon might be littered with dinosaur fossils, and more
- Why scientists can't kill HIV
- How to make classic pulled pork
Subscribe to the Week