DVD Review: Taken

A former spy relies on his special skills and killer instinct as he hunts down the men who kidnapped his daughter in Taken, an adrenaline fueled drama available on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and two-disc extended cut DVD with digital copy May 12 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Academy Award -nominee Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) stars as Brian Mills, a former secret agent trained in hand to hand combat who struggles as a divorcee and father of 17-year old Kim (Maggie Grace, “Lost”). Living with Brian’s ex-wife Lenore (Famke Jansson, X-Men: The Last Stand), Kim rarely gets the chance to see her father, but when she does he is often smothering and overbearing. When the opportunity arises to travel to Europe with her best friend, Kim convinces her dad to let her go on the trip by leaving out some very important details. The first stop for the girls is Paris, but hours after they arrive they are victims of a disturbing break-in and abducted by an Albanian criminal organization. Now, with only 96 hours to find his daughter before she will disappear forever, time is running out and Brian Mills must put his CIA expertise to the test before it’s too late.

Taken left audiences with mixed reactions. Some felt the script lacked something substantial whereas others loved it. I was one of the later. I absolutely loved it as I do most of Liam Neeson’s work.

Taken is an action packed film following Bryan Mills’ (Liam Neeson) quest to get his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) back after she has been kidnapped in Paris. Bryan gets the opportunity to briefly speak to the kidnappers on the phone, and promises them that he will find them, and that he will kill them. The sole response of the kidnappers is that of “Good luck”. What they don’t know though, is that Bryan is a former spy who will stop at nothing to get Kim back.

Relying on his special skill set which he hasn’t used in years, he manages to track the kidnappers down. His techniques are ruthless and the violence is agonizing down to the very end. You’ll be on the edge of your seat and biting your nails the entire time.

The film depicts what a badass Liam Neeson really is. As if you ever questioned it. I probably would have agreed with those who disliked the film if anyone else had been cast in the lead role. However, he does a fine job here even though the script doesn’t really allow us to see a typical compelling performance from Neeson. It is what it is. An action flick with a little bit of sentimentality thrown in.

Special features on the Blu-ray are well-done. Including both the theatrical and extended versions of the film, a digital edition of the film, audio commentary numerous featurettes, action scene comparisons, and even a black ops field manual. The features do a nice job at rounding off the release and giving you just another reason to pick up a Blu-ray player if you haven’t already.

Review by Emma Loggins

Grade: B
Official site: http://microsites.craveonline.com/taken/
Buy on Amazon: Taken


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