Saturday, January 31, 2009

Liam Neeson Will Punch You in the Throat and you will Die or: Dan Reviews Taken

This movie was awesome. In a time where movies come with a side of ovaries and emotion, Liam Neeson delivers a box of testicles to your doorstep, wrapped in a bow. Then he punches you in the throat. That is the gist of this movie. But in all seriousness, I intensely enjoyed Taken.

Is Taken a Classic? No. Did I expect Taken to be a classic? No.

However, Taken was a perfectly done vengeance movie. I couldn't help but think while watching this movie,

"This is three times better than Quantum of Solace."

I mean that wholeheartedly. However, that isn't saying much seeing as Quantum was possibly the most dissatisfying film of the year for me. But I'm done bitching about that, it was months ago. Taken did what Quantum did, very effortlessly. It didn't weight itself down with political commentary, or heavy symbolism or nods to old bond directors. It was its own movie, and it relied on its own plot. Liam Neesons daughter was taken. And he is going to fuck shit up in Paris until someone brings her back. The action was solidly filmed, not horribly shaky, and somewhat easy to believe.

And I'd just like to say, I LOVE vengeance films. I've always loved vigilante stories, and I can't get enough of them. However, watching Taken put most recent vengeance films to shame, and the reason for this was actually fairly minor. What did The Punisher lack? The ability to relate. The Punisher's family is dead, and he's killing people, and by the end of those movies, you just wish he'd get some therapy. But in Taken, you are rooting for Liam (Name Brian in the movie, but fuck that name.) Anyone who's ever cared about someone feels a sick satisfaction when Liam finally gets a hold of some of the people responsible for his daughter's kidnapping, because we all can put ourselves in his shoes, everyone has people they love, and everyone is terrified at the idea of having them suddenly yanked from your life.

In the end, Taken is flawless at being exactly what it was intended to be. A January movie. There's action that doesn't give you motion sickness, a plot with just enough emotional value to make you want to continue watching, and a side of comedy to lighten things up every now and then. James Bond could take a lesson from Mr. Neeson.

4 out of 5 stars.

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