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.