Monday, February 09, 2009

Taken (for an Implausible Ride)

Sometimes you just want to see a movie. And sometimes the showtimes and your schedule only allow you to see one of two. You don't want to see some throwaway Steve Martin crap, so you go with Liam Neeson. He used to be a Jedi Knight, so it should be OK.

A few things wrong with the Liam Neeson film "Taken."

  • Overt attempts to fan racial hatred. I now look at all Albanians with deep suspicion. And French people. And anyone who has the word "Sheik" in front of their name.
  • The girl playing Neeson's daughter. She is supposed to be 17, but bounces around like a 6-year old in every scene, spastic, uncoordinated and way overdoing the "Daddy's little girl" thing.
  • Mr. Neeson's hair. It is that odd mixture of chocolate and rust that is not found in nature. Why is it that men, even rich men with professional hair and make-up artists, can't get a good dye-job? At one point in the film, Liam's temples are grey, then they go back to Hershey's Special Dark in the next scene.
  • The idea that two 17-year-old girls are going to follow U2 around Europe for a summer is so ridiculous it is laughable. U2? Seriously? Does ANY 17-year old girl give two shits about U2? I'll bet the teenage daughters of the members of U2 don't even listen to U2.
  • The car chases and fight scenes are shot in that super-close, rapid-cut, blurred-out way that makes the action impossible to follow. All the director wants you to understand is that Liam is kicking asses and they were on a tight budget.
  • Mr. Neeson's endless supply of costumes, fake IDs, weapons and whatnot is very extensive for a guy who packed some cash and a passport as he raced out of his dingy and sad divorced dad apartment in LA.
  • After dispatching everyone on the Sheik's luxury barge at the end, Liam and his daughter reunite in a teary, touching embrace as the pilotless barge continues to sail smoothly down the Seine.
I won't give away the ending, but OK, I just did. Here's more wrap-up: As you now know, Neeson gets his daughter back from the evil slave-trading Albanians and earns the respect and gratitude of his hateful ex-wife who married some rich dick who owns all kinds of stuff. He also takes his daughter (who wants to be a singer) to meet "Sheerah," a pop diva whom Liam rescued early in the film from some knife-wielding psycho backstage. You see, Liam was hired by his old CIA pals to provide security, even though Sheerah already had her own Uzi-wielding security force.

"Taken" - Coming to DVD by the end of the week.

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