TAKEN – DVD Review

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Theatrical release: January 30, 2009
DVD release: May 12, 2009
MSRP: $29.98
Stars: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Maggie Grace
Director: Pierre Morel
Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Running time: 93 minutes

CIA counterterrorism specialist Bryan Mills (Neeson) has retired and moved to Los Angeles to reconcile with his estranged daughter Kim (Grace). Against his better judgment, Bryan allows Kim to travel with a girlfriend to Paris and, fulfilling his worst fears, they are kidnapped. Fortunately (and conveniently), Bryan is on the phone with Kim when Amanda is taken, and he’s able to gather some crucial clues about her abductors. He flies to Paris and begins hunting them down.

I had some qualms the scenario and supporting acting leading up to the kidnapping. Maybe I was just anticipating the action. That action is paced well enough that I didn’t dwell on the plot conveniences. At the same time, Neeson’s presence alone makes Mills believable as a bumbling dad and ruthless operative. Mills also does enough detective work so I can’t call this a pure popcorn movie.

A sequel to Taken is already in the works, and while I don’t know what the plot could be, I know I want to see it.

The DVD includes the theatrical and unrated cuts of Taken, with a commentary in French (with English subtitles) by director Pierre Morel, cinematographer Michel Abramowicz, and Michel Julienne, and a somewhat sleepy commentary in English by co-writer Robert Mark Kamen. There are also a making-of featurette and footage from the movie’s premiere (both in French) and a breakdown of how several stunt sequences were shot.

Order TAKEN on DVD.
Order TAKEN on Blu-ray.

–Gerald So
For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…
For more reviews from Gerald, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.