Tzvetan Todorov’s model of narrative equilibrium and the action film go hand-in-hand. Harmony, disruption, restoration. Simple. Enter Taken; Director Pierre Morel kicks things off with some good old fashioned scene setting. Subtle, delicate and about as ordinary as a Nic’ Cage flick. Oh, and we’re also thrust onto the side of his protagonist in the most ostentatious of fashions: cast-away dad Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) buys his daughter a karaoke set, step dad whips out a dashing white pony. Top that.
But as far as negative criticisms for Taken go, I’m spent. A mundane start and structure do not conceal the fact that this is a stunning, high-octane fuelled action film with a freehold on the fast and furious, the tense and intense. Second-best to Bourne, perhaps, but more than a match for those that rest and revel in the action/adventure genre.
Taken (2008), directed by Pierre Morel, is released on blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Twentieth Century Fox, Certificate 18 (theatrical cut Certificate 15).