"But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you." - Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson)

It’s one of the most iconic film phrases to enter our lexicon in the last 10 years.

Taken is an emotional drama wrapped in an action-thriller. If you haven’t seen it by now, you really should, but the question I’m here to answer is this: is the film good, or still good, considering it is now a decade old.

Yes. Taken holds up to the passage of time.

Primal isn’t the right word, but there is something very instinctive with the plot to this film. In the movie Bryan Mills, former covert operative, agrees to let his daughter go on a trip to Europe with her friend. He’s not as close to his daughter as he would like to be, (he’s divorced and his wife’s new husband is very rich,) but he cares about his daughter very deeply. He’s willing to do anything for her.

It’s a relatable feeling. Most, if not all of us, have people in our lives we love and want to protect. We’d like to think we have what it takes to do what Bryan Mills does. That is, jump on a private jet, fly to another country, track down the person/persons who kidnapped our loved one, and beat the living daylights out of them until we get our loved one back, and then make it home without being killed or arrested.

When you take a step back it’s difficult to condone such reckless vigilante behavior, but there’s not a fiber in my being which blames Bryan for his actions.

Most of the fighting is close quarters, hand to hand combat, the special effects are rather limited in nature. The plot is action heavy, fight scenes, car chases there’s a lot packed into this 90 minute adventure.

What really stands out in this film, what really makes this film powerful, and, in a way, timeless, is the protective love of the father. Yes, the technology is a little dated. The action scenes are a bit drawn out at times. The soundtrack is not impressive or memorable. But the emotional ride, watching a father protect his daughter is simply heartwarming, even if he’s slaughtering a boat full of miscreants to do it.

Review by Phil Wels

Block or Report