Taken ***


Who knew Liam Neeson could be so convincing as a Jason Bourne style action hero.  I am quite surprised at how natural he looks firing guns and engaging in martial arts.  “Taken” is his first foray in to this territory and I kind of hope it is not his last.  I am quite enjoying this new trend of gifted actors such as Neeson Daniel Craig, and Matt Damon, taking on roles like this.  It adds an element of intelligence and depth to what would normally be pretty routine. 

The story involves Liam Neeson playing a retired agent of some sort, the details were a little vague there, who goes back in to action after his daughter is kidnapped in Paris.  The general outline here is not new in the slightest.  He fights, shoots and tortures his way through the scum of Paris until he gets to his daughter.  This is kind of like watching “Frantic” mixed with James Bond.  Neeson gets in to countless situations where he violently kills thugs and pimps.  Where he finds his daughter and why I will not spoil. 

In the end I have to say that this is a pretty generic action piece.  It is produced by Luc Besson, who knows his way around this type of material.  What elevates it is the focused performance by Liam Neeson.  He makes this vehicle worth watching from start to finish.


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