by Christopher Levitan

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday May 21, 2009


At first blush, Liam Neeson may seem an odd choice to play a Jason Bourne-esque father seeking some Albanian thugs who kidnapped his daughter to sell her into a sexual slavery ring.

Neeson is older now and almost Zen in so many roles, but he's perfectly cast in Taken. He makes a thoroughly convincing action hero searching for his kidnapped teenage daughter.

"Taken" is directed with style and brutal efficiency. It moves quickly and is paced well. At only 93 minutes long, it's a perfect flick for fans of action thrillers.

Neeson plays Bryan, the estranged father of a 17 year-old. The girl's Mom (Famke Jannesen, in a thankless role) has remarried a very wealthy man. Neeson's daughter goes to Paris with friends and the situation quickly turns dire.

She is kidnapped to be sold into a slavery ring. Neeson goes to Paris and hunts down every lead to find her. The film was co-written by action maestro Luc Besson (which explains the ridiculous storyline and cliched villainy) and directed by Pierre Morel.

Morel directed the exciting District B13, and he keeps the action here brisk and thrilling. The DVD came as a one-disc screener but the two DVD version has some very good extras including two commentaries, a decent making of featurette, and a short featurette on the film's premiere.

That footage features a happy Neeson with his late wife Natasha Richardson and is extremely sad to watch.

"Taken" is a violent and efficient revenge thriller. Fans of the fast-paced Bourne films and action films in general would do well to pick up "Taken". The 2 DVD set has solid extras and looks to have a terrific widescreen transfer.

"Taken" is a solid and entertaining way to spend 93 minutes.


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