Liam Neeson is an unstoppable force in this adrenaline-fueled thriller from director Pierre Morel. Bryan (Neeson) has taken early retirement from the CIA in order to live closer to his teenage daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). Bryan's government work kept him away from Kim for much of her childhood, and he's now trying to make up for lost time. When Kim announces that she's taking a trip to Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy), Bryan is apprehensive about her traveling on her own. His worst fear is soon realized, as Kim and Amanda are abducted upon their arrival in France. Bryan immediately springs into action, using his well-honed CIA skills to piece together clues from a single, frantic phone call he received from Kim. He hops a plane to Paris, determined to rescue his daughter before she falls off the grid completely. With some help from his old CIA buddies, he tracks down the kidnappers--an Albanian crime ring known for selling young girls into the sex trade. He quickly takes matters into his own hands, plowing his way through Paris's underworld as the clock ticks down and the bullets fly. His search propels him into the upper echelons of a massive crime ring, putting him closer and closer to his beloved daughter.
Neeson is known for tackling extremely cerebral roles, so it is interesting to see him in full-on action-hero mode. In TAKEN he is no less than a crime-fighting machine--a Bourne/Bond hybrid with a deathly serious baritone. And while he spends most of the film firing Uzis and snapping necks, he still manages to deliver a moving performance as an estranged father fighting for what he loves most in the world. The film undeniably owes a lot to Neeson's acting chops. He manages to raise this rather thinly plotted, deeply violent film a bar above your typical action fare.
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