Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

May 30, 2009


So, I finally got to see this movie, and the only thing I had to say about it was "See, THAT'S the father they should have had in Fallout 3. THAT'S what you can do with Liam Neeson." I am such a gamer geek. Really, though, watching Taken has washed some of the bad taste left behind by the extraordinarily poor writing of that otherwise very fun video game.

The premise of Taken is pretty simple. Hence, it's also a pretty short movie. Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA spy/assassin guy whose daughter is abducted during a trip to Europe. He is not pleased. He spreads his displeasure around with a big, big spatula. It didn't really have to be a very complicated movie, though, and what it does it does very well. First, it establishes Bryan Mills as the Scariest Badass in the History of the World. Hmm. I was going to say "second" now, but there really isn't a "second". Scariest Badass in the History of the World pretty much covers it.

Unlike many films of a similar stripe, Taken doesn't do a lot of tear-jerking or emotion-playing. It's a very intellectual film. The action is intellectual, the rage is intellectual; you can watch the man thinking one step at a time, conquering each setback as it comes along. There's no energy wasted on style, panache, or posturing, which makes Mills even scarier as a character. The few characters who do have emotional histrionics, instead of dominating the scene, are sidelined and made me wonder, "why are they wasting all this energy when they could be doing something productive?"

The central premise of Taken is neatly summed-up in Mills's favorite word: "Focus."

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