Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thoughts on the film: Taken


I was able to catch a screening of Taken this week. Taken is a film by Luc Besson about a retired CIA "preventer" whatever the fuck that is, whose daughter is kidnapped while she's traipsing around Europe to follow U2 on tour.

First of all, U2? Seriously? Is this the fucking '80s? The girl is 17, not 34. And she dresses like she's 12.

Second order of business: Liam Neeson is supposed to be this badass CIA guy with all these vague and special "skills" that he knows, yet he appears to speak no language other than English. He encounters Albanians, Arabs and tons of French people, and not once does he utter a word in any other language. You expect me to believe a badass CIA guy doesn't even speak French? There is a scene where he pretends to be a detective with the French police to sneak into the bad guy lair and he does so by speaking English with an American accent. And they're all "Okay! We totally believe you, French guy who speaks no French and doesn't even have an accent! We're retarded because we're Albanian!"

I mean Luc Besson is French, for fuck's sake. He couldn't have turned to Liam Neeson, who is European, and said hey buddy, why don't you try a few words in French!

But then later in the movie he pronounced "Saint" incorrectly so I'm guessing his French is horrendous.

Okay on to item 3: Daddy and his daughter. In the first ten minutes, which should have been lopped off the movie in its entirety because it was boring as fuck, Daddy brings his daughter a present. It's her 17th birthday and he got her a karaoke machine. And she loves the karaoke machine. Then her stepdad brings her a pony.

Oh, stepadad upstaged real dad! Conflict!

Except not really. Real dad is totally okay with it and the daughter loves them both so there's never really any conflict. She's like YAY I love you daddy! I love my karaoke machine! And I also love my pony!

And the entire relationship is all hunky dory cheesy happiness. The girls is so cutesy it's disgusting. And even when her dad finds out she's been lying to him about where she's going, there is no confrontation scene between them. Instead he confronts the ex-wife, played by Famke Janssen. So not once is there anything other than lovey-dovey shit between father and daughter.

SPOILER WARNING

And then at the end, when he rescues her she's all Thank you I love you daddy!

So yeah. She loved her dad before. Then after he saves her she loves her dad. And aside from being drugged and kidnapped, nothing bad really happened to her. The movie gave me absolutely nothing to think about.

END SPOILER

On the upside, Besson does here what he does best - fight scenes. Beefcake and I kept saying "NIIIIIIIICE!" every time Neeson popped somebody. There were some badass fights but it took waaaaaay too long to get to them.

And it doesn't help that the camera work was somewhat lazy. Lots of over-the-shoulders, like a TV episode.

All this from the guy who brought us Leon and The Fifth Element and the first Transporter and Wasabi. I guess that's why I'm so pissed off. I expected better.

8 comments:

  1. I miss Luc's directing. As much as I don't mind him writing for films, some directors need to get back behind the camera and direct instead of "retiring".

    Love all the lolcat pics btw. :)

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  2. How does it compare to Man on Fire for you?

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  3. Man on Fire had a better character and a better story and a better title, but Taken had better fight scenes.

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  4. Damn. I can totally hear him saying 'NIIIICE!'
    That sucks. I had high hopes for this. I'll go see it if the fights are as good as you say, but still...U2?

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  5. Oh don't go see it. The fights aren't good enough to justify sitting through the rest.

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  6. I was very disappointed. Basically an American has to fly to Paris to kill everybody he sees in order to save his daughter. Nobody in Europe is capable of saving her, not even the police. Everybody in Europe is corrupt and need killing and it takes an American to save the day.

    And that is not the bit I was disappointed with, My problem is that the lead actor, the writer and the director are all European!! What a sell out!

    Awful film and an awful script.

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  7. It looked generic. I hate generic movies of any genre.

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  8. Taken is a cross between Kiss of the Dragon (Jet Li), Bourne Identity (Matt Damon) and Ransom (Mel Gibson)

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