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taken
Click for full sized poster

Taken

Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Screenplay by Robert Mark Kamen and Luc Besson
Directed by Pierre Morel
website: http://www.takenmovie.com/

IN SHORT: A flat out blast. [Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, disturbing thematic material, sexual content, some drug references and language. 91 minutes]

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson)'s daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) is off to Paris with her BFF Amanda (Katie Cassidy), ostensibly to spend weeks and weeks in the Louvre. Or so she tells her dad. Dad, an ex-government agent who retired to get some quality time with the kid before she got way too old isn't happy about France -- he's a wee overprotective -- but sets some simple rules for the trip (Call when you land. Call every night before you go to bed. Call with the local number of the apartment borrowed from Amanda's cousins) and the trip is a go. Only at the airport does Mills discover his girl is going to track a U2 tour all around la belle France. Relations between Mills and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) are strained to the max, and that's to be nice. New husband Stuart (Xander Berkeley), wealthy beyond belief, is financing the trip.

In France Kim and Amanda meet a cute French lad named Peter who splits a cab into the city with them ... and invites them to a party later that night. They accept the invitation and Amanda decides that Peter (Nicolas Giraudi) is going to be her first conquest [giggles]. The apartment is a huge thing and, before you can say, "Intruder Alert!" black gloved thugs are busting in. One direct call to dad -- Kim was returning an irate call because she hadn't checked in on landing -- and he gives instructions what to do before she is "taken". Mills also plugs in and records what's left of the conversation and noises in the apartment when Kim is grabbed. There is also a brief conversation with the kidnapper -- seen in the commercial -- and the hunt is on.

Friends still in the government are called in to do favors. Apparently they are aware of some kind of white slavery ring run by France based Albanians and set a 96 hour limit on how long it takes between kidnapping and export to wherever the girl is sold. Mills, utilizing a private plane conveniently owned by his ex's new hubbie ("I did my research on you" says Mills. Add paranoia and jealousy to over protectiveness and you've got a pot ready to boil over. Enough allusions.) Off to Paris. Hunting.

Of course, it doesn't help when Mills finds Peter and . . . that would be telling.

Simply put, folks, from this point on Taken is a fabulous, rockin' popcorn movie. Seen at a critic's screening, femme reviewers that we know were just as enthusiastic walking out as we were. We slogged through three inches of snow and slush and a pouring rain -- on a cane,  mind you -- to see the film. It was worth the difficulties.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Taken, he would have paid . . .

$8.50

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