2009-02-13 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

'Taken' - Don't Mess With James Bond's Daughter
By Robert Snyder

I recently warned my daughters: "Always answer your father's cell phone calls." I told them that if they wanted to know why, they should see the film, "Taken."

In it, teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) of retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) fortunately heeds her dad's warning and picks up her ringing phone after arriving at a Paris hotel suite. She does so, just as Albanian bad guys enter to kidnap her and her traveling companion Amanda (Katie Cassidy) for sale into white slavery.

Overhearing the sounds of the abduction, Bryan jumps into action to rescue his dear daughter. Using "the very particular skills" known only to the likes of James Bond, Bryan arrives in Paris, then uses fists, knives, guns, electric shock and his considerable wiles to barnstorm his way to the salvation of his daughter.

Though struggling to disguise his Irish brogue, Neeson makes a fine American super spy with a soul, who seizes the tragic opportunity to make good on his absenteeism during his active espionage years.

Early in the film, we learn that he is a divorced dad, whose daughter is overwhelmed by opulent gifts from the rich husband of her mother, Lenore (Famke Janssen).

The kidnap/rescue is truly Bryan's moment to shine.

Producer and co-writer Luc Besson has been in the missing-person puzzle previously with the thriller, "Tell No One," which features a superior plottwisting story. What "Taken" has is Neeson, cutting his chops as a charismatic action hero.

Dads, take your daughters to "Taken." While you may not be James Bond, at least you could scare them into staying in touch.

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