Liam Neeson's new action flick "Taken" winds up just a bit slowly in the beginning, but when it busts loose it just keeps on rockin' and rollin'. I'd read some positive reviews of it from friends, so I took a chance on the roads being passable and went to see it at the matinee this afternoon. I'm glad that I did.
Basic story line is simple - Neeson is an ex-spook whose daughter is kidnapped on a trip to Paris. He goes to get her back. Along the way he lays waste to a significant number of bad boys. It would be easy to nit-pick some things in the movie, such as the fact that it's hard to accept that one man can take down so many guys, especially at the last of the movie. On the other hand, the violence that he employs is so direct and believable that you can cut him some slack on some things. His gun handling is good - solid, no weird techniques, no messing around - very direct and businesslike. That's pretty much how he handles it all. He's smart and has experience with the technical side of the business but when he goes at the guys who've stolen his daughter he goes HARD and never lets up. From what I've learned about this stuff over the years, that's what works.
Then there's all that footage of Paris, which is my favorite city in the world. I don't like cities, but I love Paris and going back there this spring after almost twenty years away from La Belle France was great fun for me, despite some problems with one of the folks who was along for the trip.
More than anything else, the movie speaks to me on a personal and emotional level. I have a daughter whom I love to distraction. If anything ever happened to her I would want to be able to go after her just like he does, an avenging force of nature - implacable, unswerving. That's not realistic, of course, but it's what every dad would like to think that he'd do for his girl if she was counting on him to bring her home. When he says "I told you that I'd come for you" deep down in my gut I know it's what I'd want to tell her. Not just to say it, but to mean it and to deliver on it.
Great stuff. I loved it. I recommend it to you - especially to you dads.