Monday, 23 February 2009

Film Review: Taken

Director: Pierre Morel

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

If your after a multi-dimensional plot full of twists and turns then this probably isn't going to be a film for you. In fact, this film synopsis can be very easily summarised in one manageable sentence.

Daughter gets kidnapped, father (and ex-CIA agent of course...) spends entire film shooting, punching, electrocuting and just about every other unspeakable thing to bag guys in a bid to get her back.

Ok so maybe that sentence doesn't roll off the tongue but you get the idea.

Its important to stress that this is certainly an easy watch and can't be taken too seriously. Which is a shame as its from the same writing team who brought us Leon, a film which managed to be a shoot'em'up and heart rendering at the same time. Taken though couldn't be more different.

The script is not a strong one. The dialogue is at best acceptable, and Liam Nesson puts in a respectable performance, but with so many descrepancies and loose ends never tied up, you can't help but think about what was happening five minutes ago rather than following with the narrative.

It also is seems really rushed in places. Kim (the daughter played by Maggie Grace) runs around like a spoilt five year old from what little we see of her in the opening scenes, that when it comes to her being kidknapped I don't actually care. It just doesn't seem to have been thought through. Surely you would build up the person who is at the centre of the story! Ransom is an excellent example of how to do this effectively.

Thankfully, the action sequences to an extent make up for the hole filled plot. The fights are so real its as if your in them and being punched and kicked as well. But there was so much violence caused by Neeson's character, its difficult to be able to fully back him in his attempts to find his daughter. Can we really support someone who has brutally killed 100 or so people?

All in all this is an ok watch if you switch your brain off, and as long as your into blood, guts, guns and gratuitous violence then generally this is 90 minutes well spent.