• 2009-04-22
  • By Kate McIntosh

The former CIA agent flies solo to rescue his daughter.

Director: Pierre Morel

Two American girls 's along with a plausible plotline 's are randomly taken hostage in this woeful action thriller.
Kim (Maggie Grace), the 17-year-old daughter of an ex CIA agent, and her friend are kidnapped from a luxurious Paris apartment by Albanian sex traffickers moments after landing and making eyes at a handsome stranger.

The dense teenagers share a taxi from the airport with the dashing young man 's complete with dodgy French accent 's letting it slip that they are home alone.
"Taken" stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, a hardened former CIA agent with a heart of gold who quits his government spy job to be closer to his beloved daughter following the breakdown of his marriage.
However, Bryan finds himself increasingly on the outer, as his embittered ex-wife (Famke Jansson) and her wealthy husband thwart his attempts to reconnect with Kim.

In a bid to win his daughter's favor, Bryan agrees to let her travel to Paris for a holiday with an elder friend.
The pair set off on what is supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, equipped with a pre-paid mobile phone and strict instructions to call home regularly.
Later a horrified Kim calls her father from the mobile phone as the would-be kidnappers burst into the apartment.

Before being disconnected Bryan promises to track down her assailants.
"Taken" would have us believe that two affluent American girls are kidnapped as part of an Albania-led sex trafficking ring without so much as a whiff of diplomatic scandal or media attention.
Instead, her enraged father goes on a solo heroic odyssey to rescue his precious daughter, single-handedly taking on an entire sex trafficking network.

The manic, nonsensical storyline follows Bryan's desperate attempts to rescue his daughter from the clutches of her kidnappers who are intent on turning young girls into drug addicted prostitutes and auctioning them as sex slaves to the highest bidder.

Sex trafficking, particularly in impoverished former Soviet states, remains a huge problem. However, the majority of at risk women are indeed not American tourists, but ethnic or displaced women from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack work opportunities and have few family ties.
A point the film happily overlooks.

"Taken" dramatizes and sentimentalizes this very real issue rather than highlighting its insidious effects.
The shifty Albanian villains, along with the lecherous Arabs who take possession of the girls, are never anything more than cliqued caricatures.

Meanwhile, Grace plays the same old perky cheerleader type we've seen a thousand times.
Unsurprisingly, this preposterous tale ends with a saccharine Hollywood ending to rival the many that have gone before.

After being rescued by superdad, the ever perky Kim 's apparently completely unscathed by her terrible ordeal 's arrives back in the U.S. to be reunited with her doting family.
Irish great Liam Neeson deserves better than this drivel.

Don't bother.

Showing in Lithuania April 24. In Estonia and Latvia May 1.


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