TAKEN (***) - Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser and Xander Berkeley.
Directed by Pierre Monel.
Contrary to popular perception, Liam Neeson has played his share of morally dubious characters, and action characters. The guy has played everyone from Darkman to Rob Roy to R'As al-Ghul, after all, and he's mentored everyone from Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven) to Ewan McGregor (The Phantom Menace). So while at first it seemed like an odd choice for Liam "Schindler" Neeson to star in a bone-crunching "I will hunt you down" thriller, it makes perfect sense just a few minutes in. This guy has a good heart, he's a loving father making up for lost time, and if you take his daughter...
He. will. kill. you.
It's an 1980's style action movie that benefits from having a real actor in the lead, therefore making it more like the Bourne movies than Cobra. Neeson plays a CIA man who's retired to be closer to his daughter (played with 17-year-old aplomb by 26-year-old Lost vet Maggie Grace). When she gets kidnapped while vacationing in Paris, he kicks into gear to get her back quickly, Machiavellianly.
Neeson's a guy easy to root for, and as a dad myself, if my daughter was kidnapped, I'd want those same skills to hunt the baddies down.