Directed by Pierre Morel. Starring Leland Orser, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen.
An ex-CIA agent (Liam Neeson, Rob Roy) has moved to LA in order to be closer to his 17-year old daughter (Maggie Grace, The Fog). After years of dangerous missions and little time for his family, Mills is determined to be the kind of father he never was. Unfortunately for him, his daughter is now living with her mom (Famke Janssen, Golden Eye) and her ridiculously-rich husband (Xander Berkeley, Timecode).
After her birthday party, Mill’s daughter asks if she could go to Paris with her best friend. Mills isn’t thrilled with the idea because he knows that if anything was to happen to her he won’t be around to help. So, he tells his daughter to forget about the trip. His ex-wife, however, is disappointed with his decision and tells Mills to begin treating their daughter as an adult.
As expected, Mills changes his mind. His daughter and her friend get on the plane to Paris and, again, as expected, end up in a lot of trouble. They are abducted by a group of Albanian human traffickers and prepped to be sold on the black market. However, before she is captured by the Albanians, Mills’ daughter manages to make a phone call and tell Daddy what has happened. Mills immediately flies to Paris, gets his old buddies from the CIA to do their magic and help him find out more about the Albanians, and initiates a one-man hunt-show that culminates with a happy ending.
Luc Besson’s touch in Taken is easy to recognize. The key elements the film uses to enthrall his audience – no-frills action, fancy camerawork, and a main protagonist equipped with near superhuman skills – are the same ones that earned the Frenchman plenty of accolades for his involvement with Taxi (1998), Banlieue 13 (2004), and Danny the Dog (2005). Unsurprisingly, Taken follows a fairly predictable route.