“Liam Neeson could have had a helluva career as an action star,” said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. The veteran actor is incredible as an ex-CIA agent on the hunt for his kidnapped daughter in Pierre Morel’s “lean and brutal” new thriller Taken (watch the trailer here, via YouTube). And the movie’s chases and fight scenes are a total “rush”—Taken is “all the caffeine an action fan needs until the summer thrill rides arrive.”
“If you’re willing to hold your nose to the political subtext of Taken,” said Alonso Duralde in MSNBC.com, “it’s one rousing moment after another.” But the “film’s ‘save the white girl from the foreign infidels’ plotline” adds a “a queasily reactionary feel” to the movie, and “detracts from its more incitement-to-riot qualities.”
Taken is “such a toxic combination of grim and silly that I alternately yawned and scoffed my way through” the entire film, said Jon Frosch in Film Journal International. The dialogue is “stuffed and stilted,” and the plot is “practically devoid of any genuine jolt or twist.” In the end, “the real hostage in this mess” is the viewer.