Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taken To The Movies

So tonight, Steve and I took a little trip to the cinema. I was cautiously optimistic as our last few movie outings have had mixed results. (Coraline good, Benjamin Button bad.) From the first time I saw the trailer for Taken, I knew it would be a movie for Steve. He does love his revenge flicks, after all. I share his love for all things violent, but I was skeptical. We had heard several recommendations of the film, though, so we braved the ridiculous ticket prices and headed to the movies.

Allow me to begin with a note to all Hollywood producers/screenwriters/directors/guys who write checks. People who go to movies like Taken don't want a lot of extra plot. They don't need back story. CUT TO THE CHASE. There. I've said it, and it's out of the way. Taken begins with about 25 to 30 minutes of back story that I didn't need in order to appreciate a man's desire to rescue his daughter from human traffickers. It is enough for me that Lliam Neeson is angry, and those bad Albanians messed with the wrong guy.

Once we got through the whole divorced-dad-feels-conflicted back story, things got good. Neeson's daughter is kidnapped while he is on the phone with her, and I'm not sure what was more disturbing: the violent abduction or the calm with which he instructs his daughter on what to do. This man is infinitely cool in a crisis, and you got to love that. From that moment forward he is a one man killing machine. There is no monologuing or veiled threats here. Just "tell me where my daughter is" and then BANG! you're dead.

Steve read a review that panned the writing in the film. I will concede that the dialogue is far from stellar. But once again, who goes to an action/revenge flick looking for pitch perfect dialogue? He's just a pissed off guy with a gun (or fist or pipe or whatever's handy), and that's all I really needed him to be.
On an unrelated note, am I the only one who is tired of the shameless product placement in movies? It seems unlikely to me that everyone in Paris drives an Audi. Then at the end of the film credits, it lists Audi. Oh well...it was a really nice car...

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