Author Topic: Taken  (Read 1421 times)

Taken
« on: August 17, 2020, 10:46:18 PM »
Taken was on telly the other night. As soon as my dad saw it in the TV listing he put on a gruff voice and said I have special skills.

I didn't know anything about it, other than that it was an EXPLOSIVE THRILLER and that my dad had got the line wrong. I was astonished by it. Surely it's the stuff of direct-to-DVD tosh and yet it's this huge franchise?

I couldn't stop laughing at it. A lot of the time I couldn't even work out why it was so funny. Something about the pacing of the editing. Like this bit where Liam Neeson is in the process of beating up a bloke in a taxi, gets dragged out of it, beats someone else up, then sticks his head back in the taxi to carry on beating up the first bloke, but the taxi's empty, and there's a crash zoom on the bloke legging it up the road. Liam you've lost the news.

The plot! Divorced Liam doesn't think his daughter should visit Paris because she could be abducted for some reason. Not because she's the president's daughter or anything like that, he's just a worried dad. He relents because his ex-wife is a total bitch! Then it turns out she is abducted. The one thing Liam didn't want to happen. But he gets her back and she loves dad and his ex-wife fancies him again. The message is just dad knows best. If it had been an actual film there'd be a tedious subtext in there about how he has a very particular set of skills but parenting isn't one of them and the whole thing would be about building a relationship with his daughter in a legit way, but this is like nah, dad was just proven right and at the end the women shut up and love him. He doesn't learn a thing! Only the bitches learn.

Contains the line "Take the girls to the Sheikh!"

The film also reminded me about another explosive Neeson thriller, Non-Stop, which I haven't seen, but I did see a clip, and it's also brilliant. It's just him ranting about a bomb on the plane and also he's a terrible father and an alcoholic etc. Once again the pacing of this monologue delights me - the way he turns, grabbing a headrest, "the bomb'll explode," warming to the dialogue. It really just seems to be an ill man going mental on a plane. His carers will arrive and take him back to his seat in a minute.

That's it for me and Taken.

Re: Taken
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2020, 10:52:57 PM »
never seen it, never will. That clip is great though. I like how he parks up after ploughing through the other cars and puts the handbrake on before he gets out to chase the bad man.

touchingcloth

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Re: Taken
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2020, 10:54:48 PM »
I will find you, and I will ask you why there are so many mother fucking snakes on your mother fucking plane. 

Re: Taken
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2020, 11:11:07 PM »
I like that his daughter lies to him about her trip to Paris because she’s actually planning to follow U2 around on their European tour.

A 17 year old girl, obsessed with U2, in 2009. Absolute fucking bollocks.

Bronzy

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Re: Taken
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2020, 11:18:34 PM »
stop calling me dad im suckin off the edge

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Taken
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2020, 11:26:20 PM »
Yup. It's complete shit. It's not even good trash, it's just shite. I laughed at the second one (I didn't want to see it, but we'd missed everything good) when the big climactic action scene is just Neeson vs. some bloke - not some bloke that's been set up as a real badass, just some bloke. With a moustache.

No discussion of the editing can go without mentioning the infamous fence climb from the third film: https://youtu.be/gCKhktcbfQM

Re: Taken
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2020, 11:54:17 PM »
I prefer the third one because you can play as a cyborg kickboxer.

Lemming

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Re: Taken
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2020, 12:03:43 AM »
The first one is great because it's completely fucking awful on every level, and yet it just gives you exactly what you secretly want, deep down: cardboard cutout evil bad guys with no complexity, and Liam Neeson taking out tons of human traffickers without ever really being imperiled himself for more than five seconds. It's strength is that it's just shamelessly, straightforwardly shit, and hits basically every target it sets for itself. It also doubles up as a comedy, as every single person who's seen it has at least one laugh-out-loud moment. You're right in that the editing plays a huge part - every single fight or chase scene (ie most of the film) is edited like absolute shit.

One of my favourite parts is near the end, when he's captured by the bastards and held in a small room. They're going to torture and kill him, and it looks like it's all over for Liam, but then he breaks out virtually immediately and just continues his previous rampage. It's the one and only moment of danger he faces in the film and its overcome literally within 60 seconds.

I was excited for Taken 2 as well, especially after seeing the trailer where Neeson cringes his way through the line "your mother and I are about to be... TAKEN", clearly knowing it was going to end up stripped of all context and shoved into the trailer. Can't remember much about it though, other than that it did have a good few laughs and a fucking hysterical scene where he detonates like fifty grenades to try and tell his daughter where he is, or vice versa, something with grenades anyway.

I liked Non-Stop too but it's not as batshit as Taken, though the ending where the little girl gets sucked out of the plane when the fucking hull explodes, and Liam heroically rescues her by grabbing onto her with one hand almost made me vomit from laughing. Also has Liam and his enemy doing shitty Max Payne leaps across the plane together while decompression occurs and somehow barely affects them.

There's another Neeson classic called The Commuter which is pure and total shite, so fans of Taken should check it out. It includes a scene where Neeson is trapped beneath a train just as it sets off, and he has to do the fucking Fred Flintstone run to stay in place and avoid being fatally dragged under the wheels, and it's played completely dead seriously, even as the camera crash-zooms onto his sweating face and back to his feet moving at comical speeds with the standard DUH-DUN-DUH-DUN pounding action music playing.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Taken
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2020, 12:15:18 AM »
Nah, it's just shit.

Taken? Taken back, more like.

Povidone

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Re: Taken
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2020, 08:51:06 AM »
I was also pretty down on it after a first watch as it is unrepentantly shit, though a friend of mine pointed out some of the comedic joy he extracted from it and it clicked for me much the same way that it did for Lemming above. It's not my go to stupid action thing but I can see the ironic appeal.

Maggie Grace at 28 playing a teenager is worth the admission price alone: https://youtu.be/Tz-vA5omI2U

the midnight watch baboon

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Re: Taken
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2020, 09:46:02 AM »


Maggie Grace at 28 playing a teenager is worth the admission price alone: https://youtu.be/Tz-vA5omI2U

Yes, the presumed shortage of eighteen-year-old actresses available to Hollywood meant she was engaged to act like someone who looks nearly 30 playing an 18 year old with the ataxic perambulation of a giddy 12 year old.

Re: Taken
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2020, 09:58:10 AM »
 I have special skills

Re: Taken
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2020, 11:05:38 AM »
Nah, it's just shit.

Taken? Taken back, more like.

Yeah, I was never into this despite being big on action films at the time. The action itself is that poorly constructed, post-Bourne shakeycam garbage, and the whole tone is grumpy and downbeat. Commando it ain't.

The second one was considered a huge disappointment by fans, I thought it was OK. The third is truly awful despite a fun poor man's Fugitive set up, with possibly the worst editing ever seen in a mainstream action film. It does have one great ridiculous touch where Taken poisons a bottle of milk (it's established earlier in the film that Cthey both have a system for choosing bottles from fridges. Seriously!) so that Takenette Jr will leave her university class to go to the bathroom and meet him. Could have put a message on the bottle maybe?

Re: Taken
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2020, 11:14:19 AM »
I saw it when I was on holiday in Malta and there was a film channel that cut out any violence, swear words or sexual things. This film was approx 60 minutes long. "Mr Brooks" was another that was hacked to pieces.

Weirdly the bit from "Hot Rod" 32 seconds into this clip was also cut out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfaNkGXrEtA. There wasn't any attempt to edit the soundtrack either.

Cuellar

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Re: Taken
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2020, 11:49:10 AM »
Taken 2: Far!!!!

No but seriously, I saw Taken on a coach in Peru. It was about 8am, we had a 4 hour ride ahead of us, I think, and the coach was packed with young families, kids going mental. Having woken up at about 6, I was hoping for a nice coach-snooze. Fat chance - they whack Taken into the DVD player and BLAST it at us from the word go. My partner was so shocked and annoyed at the noise that she got up and turned the DVD player off (it was in some central console thing in the middle of the coach). Cue one of the staff running up to it and turning it back on, then telling us off and saying "no, it HAS to play".

Absolutely baffling. I can only assume that this is how the Taken franchise makes all its money. Forcing bleary eyed children and their desperate mothers to watch it in various long haul coaches around the world.

Re: Taken
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2020, 12:07:07 PM »
Non-Stop is lots of fun. In a way it's actually more realistic than many action films because it really commits to portraying Neeson as being a drunken fuck-up, rather than e.g. Olympus Has Fallen where Gerard Butler is moping about his gorgeous wife and heading off to his job in the heart of Washington DC and is still supposed to be a miserable fuck-up (for about 10 minutes then he turns into Superman). That's pretty much where the realism ends in Non-Stop, but it does continue to heap indignities on Neeson far in excess of the Taken films, and that's what I want. And there's some suspense, the action is clear, there's token political commentary, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch if Neeson lived or died.

It's hard to say anything about Taken. Tom Breihan's summary is pretty accurate. The villains are shit, the fights are shit, the plot is shit, the politics are shit, it's purely dependent on Neeson being gruff and tall, both of which he's very good at.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Taken
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2020, 01:57:23 PM »
Maggie Grace running up to Neeson in the restaurant like a 7 year old on alcopops is one of the funniest things evaaaa

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Taken
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2020, 04:05:28 PM »
Yeah, I was never into this despite being big on action films at the time. The action itself is that poorly constructed, post-Bourne shakeycam garbage, and the whole tone is grumpy and downbeat. Commando it ain't.
Yes this is how I feel about it as well. I think it could be improved by actually having a villain or two that you get to know. In Commando you've got Bennett and Arius, who are both laughable in their own ways, but they're interesting and fun to watch. Taken is just Neeson going through all these guys you've never met before and killing them. There's no proper final boss. There's not even a midboss like Sully. Just blokes.

Puce Moment

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Re: Taken
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2020, 04:41:52 PM »
I do have a liking for Americans being all Euro-phobic whether in film, or in the comments section of Tripadvisor.

"My 21-year-old daughter is graduating from Hardvard and plans to go to Europe in the fall. I'm worried about her and assume that the moment she lands at Heathrow she'll be whisked off to a manor house in Serbia to be slowly tortured and killed. Any advice would be very welcome!"

Better Midlands

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Re: Taken
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2020, 08:07:57 PM »
Never watches it, but seen the Family Guy pastiche too many times much to my chagrin.

Re: Taken
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2020, 11:32:16 PM »
Love the bit in one of the sequels where his daughter is lost on a rooftop in the middle of Istanbul with a big bag of grenades and our Liam tells her to start lobbing them off the roof willy nilly so he can track her down by the sound of the explosions. Absolutely no fucks given about any innocent nearby Turks getting blown up, or the possibility of the police arriving.

Non Stop Dancer

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Re: Taken
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2020, 08:59:47 AM »
Maggie Grace running up to Neeson in the restaurant like a 7 year old on alcopops is one of the funniest things evaaaa
Yes, that's a notably bizarre thing isn't it. Me and the wife always shout at that bit and wish ill upon her as a result.

Rich Uncle Skeleton

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Re: Taken
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2020, 03:06:22 PM »
I like that his daughter lies to him about her trip to Paris because she’s actually planning to follow U2 around on their European tour.

A 17 year old girl, obsessed with U2, in 2009. Absolute fucking bollocks.





Re: Taken
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2020, 05:12:52 PM »
I like that his daughter lies to him about her trip to Paris because she’s actually planning to follow U2 around on their European tour.

A 17 year old girl, obsessed with U2, in 2009. Absolute fucking bollocks.
U2 are Irish, Liam Neeson is Northern Irish (Catholic), clearly daughter has daddy issues.

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

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Re: Taken
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2020, 10:20:18 PM »
Only watched this because Liam Neeson was in it and I have loved him these past 23 years. He's been in 87 films, not counting documentaries and cameos, and there's about a 50-50 good to shit ratio. He's never shit. He's good even in the shit films. But there are several movies of his I've only watched once. Taken is one for the "watched it once" pile.

Re: Taken
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2020, 11:28:49 AM »
Telsa Tenet Taken Taxi for Tobruk

BlodwynPig

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Re: Taken
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2020, 11:36:05 AM »


Bart is the real loon in this. Staring at the door before grandpa even comes in and continues to stare. The stare should be AFTER grandpa puts his hat back on.

Thomas

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Re: Taken
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2020, 11:55:58 AM »
Not seen Took, but I watched John Wick the other night. So many of these household-name blockbuster action thrillers have the visual feel of a low-budget crime series syndicated by Channel 5 a decade after the original US airdate. The CGI blood and muzzle flashes look like free samples from Adobe After Effects. The colour grading, too. Shiny blue, dry orange.

Re: Taken
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2020, 12:16:31 PM »
I like Neeson in a couple of his post-Taken gritty action roles, The Grey and A Walk Amongst The Tombstones. He's always watchable, as an actor, even in Love Actually.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Taken
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2020, 12:24:09 PM »
Not seen Took, but I watched John Wick the other night. So many of these household-name blockbuster action thrillers have the visual feel of a low-budget crime series syndicated by Channel 5 a decade after the original US airdate. The CGI blood and muzzle flashes look like free samples from Adobe After Effects. The colour grading, too. Shiny blue, dry orange.
True, but John Wick is not among them.

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