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The Time For Revenge Has Come. 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Pierre Morel 
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and Xander Berkeley.  
An image from Taken

“Taken” is about the lengths one man will go to get his daughter back. Liam Neeson (“Batman Begins”, “Star Wars: Episode I”) plays estranged father Bryan Mills. He experiences every father’s worst nightmare when his daughter is kidnapped in a distant country. However, unlike most fathers, Bryan Mills is not powerless to do anything about it. A man with a past even his daughter is afraid to ask about has learned ‘a particular set of skills’ that should bring fear to the hearts of even the hardest of criminals.

Once started, the pace of the film is unrelenting. From the get-go, Neeson is on the case, tearing the underworld of Paris apart. The action, like “Bourne Supremacy”, has an aggressive and real feel to it. However, without detracting from the action, the film also has a clever trail of deductions, following the clues and edging closer to Mills’ daughter.

The director, Pierre Morel, has the same great eye for aesthetics as he did in “The Transporter”. He uses the location to give the action a beautiful backdrop as well as a distinctive look. Paris’ architecture gives it a feel that could not be achieved anywhere else in the world.

The quality of the acting is good all-round. Liam Neeson, in particular, is convincing as both a loving father and a ruthless killer prepared to do anything to save his daughter. His scenes can be both touching and exhilarating.

“Taken” stands out from the pack by underpinning the story with the contemporary issue of trafficking women and its understanding of global politics. With some sharp and intelligent dialogue, some unforgettable action, “Taken” is well worth a look.

Natalie Tyldesley

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)