Day By Day

Monday, February 09, 2009


Last week we went to see "Taken". It's creating a lot of buzz, but it's not that good a film. You've seen this movie before -- the classic revenge fantasy. A guy with apparently superhuman abilities is terribly wronged so he sets out to wreak revenge on those who hurt him, leaving the landscape strewn with the bodies of those who oppose him. It's the sort of thing that Jean Claude, Steven Segal, Arnie, Chuck Bronson, Matt Damon, and dozens of other action stars have done over and over and over again. The narrative twist here is that the film also involves a rapprochement between a father and his daughter. Ho hum!

Two things distinguish "Taken" from most its predecessors.

First, the heroic lead can actually act. Liam Neeson is a marvelous actor who has done some wonderful work over a long and distinguished career. This is not one of his strongest performances, but even so he out-classes his predecessors by miles.

The second notable thing about this film is that the bad guys are not Americans. They are Muslims and Euro-trash. An American studio would not have made this picture, or if it did, the villains would be Americans or neo-Nazis. "Taken", however, is a French production and can get away with violating current American PC standards. And, I must admit, that is a refreshing, and even a bit thrilling thing to see.

Go see "Taken". It's a reasonably well-crafted thriller, at least as good as [actually a good bit better than] the Bourne films, which in some ways it resembles. And, you will be doing good. If "Taken" makes a pile of money [as it seems to be doing] it will send a message to the dimwits in Hollywood that it is OK to present the world as it is, not as some left-wing loons would want it to be.