CLIP ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSPPP4OVkPk
CLIP TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsLyqEg4Tic
The action movie, Taken, which was released in January of 2009 was directed by Pierre Morel. It is a story about CIA agent, Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson who went into early retirement in order to spend more time with his 17 year daughter. Accused by his ex-wife that he cared more about his job than spending time with family, Bryanʼs guilt makes him reluctantly let his 17 year old daughter go to France with her best friend. He gives her one condition that she must stay in contact with him daily. The movie takes a quick turn and continues at a fast pace when the two girls are taken by a group of Albanians based in Paris. The group kidnaps women, drugs them and pushes them into prostitution and sells them to very wealthy muslims. Bryan has 96 hours to find his daughter or, as he is told, he will never see her again. Bryan goes to Paris and begins the search for daughter, using the skills he obtained from years of work with the CIA. Along the way, Bryan finds his daughterʼs friend dead, and leaves behind much destruction throughout the city, killing many in is path before he actually finds his daughter, Kim getting auctioned off. Bryan gets captured himself, but manages to escape, jump on the boat where Kim was taken and rescues his daughter, keeping his promise to the kidnappers.
The great editing allows the movie to move at an extremely fast pace, maintaining the viewerʼs attention. From a phone call in the states, to breaking into an apartment in Paris, followed by the first action scene at the airport, editing and cuts are the primary reason this movie can move so quickly. The first real action scene at the airport sets the tone of the movie, however, this scene has a cinematography flaw. Bryan steals a car, causes traffic on a major highway to halt, jumps out of his stopped car to pursue his man but yet, there isnʼt one person on the highway standing outside of
their car in disbelief of what is taking place. In fact, there isnʼt one person around anywhere, when the camera pulls back to reveal more of the scene. Just empty cars which makes the scene look totally staged and fake. (see link 1).Other action scenes are more believable, mixing shots from inside cars to shots of the area where the chase takes place. Background music isnʼt really noticeable because the sound of the action takes center stage with gun shots, explosions, stabbings and cars squealing. There is a lot of violence with people getting killed by Bryan and one person getting tortured and then electrocuted.
Although the movie is about the kidnapping and trafficking of women, it also has a sub story line about family and a fatherʼs love for his daughter. Although, not an ideal father when his daughter was growing up, the skills from Bryanʼs job allows him to be his daughterʼs “white knight”. Bryanʼs character is brave, courageous and well accomplished with his multitude of both physical and mental talents. With the main story being about trafficking women, one would think there would be a lot of nudity, but actually, there isnʼt any nudity at all. Women are seen half dressed and in under garments, but there are no scenes where the viewer sees the act sex, or rape taking place. There is also little vulgar language which is why there is a PG-13 rating. Young women are portrayed as objects to be used for profit, however, in the end, the movie shows Kimʼs happy return home without any follow up of her traumatic, life changing, experience and the loss of her best friend. The story is told and shown in current day from the view point of a father on a mission. The storyline of a father doing anything to save his daughter out weighs some of the “hollywood” scenes that makes the movie exciting. For example, when Bryan finds Marco the Albanian he states: “you come to
this country, take advantage of the system and think because we are tolerant that we are weak and helpless. Your arrogance offends me.” Why would an American be offended of something taking place in France and why donʼt the Albanians question this? (see link 2). Overall, the quality of the movie is very good and the audience gets action and violence along with the hollywood happy ending.