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This ridiculous film should simply be called Pimp Killer.

Taken is ridiculous, and sort of fascinating. It plays as a stereotypical extreme of conservative fears of foreign lands and immigration, before enacting death penalty justice. I'm not sure why the movie isn't called Pimp Killer, which doesn't dance around its exploitative nature and is a lot catchier. Liam Neeson is Bryan, a divorced security expert who values nothing more than time spent with his 17-year-old daughter Kim (former Lost star Maggie Grace, who's not bad at looking 17.) Bryan panics when Kim and her friend Amanda plan a trip to Paris. Everybody knows only bad things happen overseas. Expectedly, they're in the City of Love for about an hour before they're kidnapped by Albanians and put into a prostitution ring. Before Bryan starts murdering pimps, I was ready to describe his character as Oskar Schindler of the child sex-slave trade. But really, despite his many opportunities, he doesn't care about saving girls who aren't Kim. A torture-interrogation scene is too calculatedly Abu Ghraib. Having made the alright French action film *District B13*, director Pierre Morel sides with American prejudice. Taken is like the heroic pimp-killing scene at the end of Taxi Driver, pitched completely at face value.

Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 93 min. · 2009
Official Site:
Director: Pierre Morel
Writer: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Producer: Luc Besson, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam and India Osborne
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Katie Cassidy, Famke Janssen, Xander Berkeley, Olivier Rabourdin, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky and Holly Valance


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