Taken (2008)

Of all the words to describe this movie, endearing would have to be somewhere near the top. Taken explores the underground world of human trafficking and brings it a little bit closer to home, perhaps more so than one would want. Liam Neeson plays Brian Mills,  a retired CIA agent that gave up his career to make up for lost time with his daughter Kim, portrayed by actress Maggie Grace.

The plot takes the viewer from California to Europe where apparently kidnapping is a frequent occurence. What may seem like an innocent encounter with a charming local, quickly turns into a deadly experience feared by many parents. Brian’s daughter Kim goes on a trip to Paris with her friend, but instead of visiting sights like the Eiffel Tower or the Musee du Louvre, she is kidnapped to be auctioned off to the highest bidder in an undergound auction. Being a retired CIA agent, Brian quickly makes the most of the time he has and tracks down those responsible while undercovering a human trafficking ring.

What makes this movie stand out a bit more then the typical action film is that it has some truth in it. Tourists are kidnapped and go missing at an alarming rate. Taken is an example of a father going to extreme measures to ensure his daughters safety. Perhaps if all fathers were retired CIA agents then the kidnapping rate could possibly drop due to this movie. From hot-wiring cars, to breaking and entering an upscale party; Taken delivers like a James Bond film with a Die Hard attitude.  A no holds barred story about a father’s love for his daughter and the ends he would go to for her. All men would wish to be like Brian Mills after watching this movie. Having the peace of mind to rationally control one’s emotion and putting pieces of a puzzle together, and at the same time formulating a plan to rescue back your flesh and blood.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It gave me a sense of realism and urgency through the eyes of a father. The drive and desire to get your daughter back and the boundaries you would push to get there. Of course, much like other action films, a brain check would be needed before entering as it seems as though officers of the law are few and scarce in these movies. Also, parents should want to see this movie with their son or daughter, if not for some bonding time in between gun fights, then for the purpose of displaying what a parents love would drive someone to do for their offspring…however extreme it may be.

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