Taken (France, 2008)

taken-poster-dark-fullsizeDirected by: Pierre Morel. My fascination with Liam Neeson grows, and I felt it was high time I took on this—what is possibly Mr Neeson’s crowning achievement. I say this not in the sense of the Academy Awards or in the sense of art film standards (obviously), but I think that this is the film that cemented him as not only an A-list, mainstream Hollywood star—at 56 years old!—but it proved that he has the potential to one day be considered among the ranks of truly rarefied “Celebrities” with a capital C like Monroe, Wayne, Bogart, Gable, et al. The reason I say that is that in the modern era, very few Hollywood stars even come close to this almost godlike level of unreality. George Clooney, for example, though a fine actor and very famous, does not at this point have it, whatever it is, in a way that I think Arnold Schwarzenegger does. Watching this movie, the parallels were pretty obvious: a tall, looming non-American whose nationality, patently obvious from the broad accent, go completely unmentioned and unaccounted for by the narrative. And, of course, the many differences, most noticeably the fact that Liam Neeson is a way better actor than Schwarzenegger. Liam’s face is capable of layers of emotion, of that melancholy gravity in his eyes and his voice, that are completely unique to him. What I find so lovable about this film is how damn simple it is. The plot is so crudely direct and unoriginal that you can just follow along for the ride and bask in Liam’s performance. What more can you ask for?

8 responses to “Taken (France, 2008)

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