"Imagine if Jason Bourne was your Dad......"
It's hard not to look at this film as a clone born of a little bit of Bond and a little bit of Bourne. Liam Neeson plays a retired CIA agent (not the ones that wear suits, the ones that can kill you in 17 different ways with their little finger) whose daughter is kidnapped by an Albanian prostitution cartel in Paris. Cue enraged father using aforementioned CIA judo chop skills, married with bullet dodging and car flipping antics, and you've got yourself Taken.
That's pretty much all there is to it really. It's a paint by numbers action thriller. It doesn't have the depth that the Bourne films have, nor the panache of Bond, but it is rather endearing in its own right - as long as you ignore the plot which is full of rather tenuous links and flaws (if you see the film you'll know what I mean at the end).
The strangest thing about the film was how we all reacted to certain scenes when we were viewing it - I use the ‘royal we' here when describing us critics, snobby I know. See in Bond, which was incredibly raw and gritty, you only laughed at the jokes - the rest was really quite brutal and wince inducing. Bourne had the same effect - the realistic savagery of the fight scenes kept you entranced. Somehow, Liam Neeson managed to make all of us laugh out loud. Whether it was the fact that some of the moves and lines were SO clichéd, or the timing so predictable, but at the most inappropriate times the cinema was roaring with laughter -bizarre yet as I said earlier, rather endearing.
Crunch question - would I recommend you go watch it? Well I wouldn't say it's a must see, but at the same time it's better than some of the chuff that's out there at the moment. Don't go expecting the next Bourne or Bond, and just sit back disengage brain and enjoy - should see you right.