Taken (2008) - 2-Disc Extended Cut

Genre(s): Action / Thriller
Fox || Unrated - 93 minutes - $34.98 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-05-13


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Pierre Morel
Writer(s): Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen (written by)
Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Radivoje Bukvic


Theatrical Release Date: January 30, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Feature Commentaries
  • 3 Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Bryan (Liam Neeson) is heading to his daughter Kimís (Maggie Grace) birthday party, even though she is in her teens he stops off to buy her a small gift. He goes to the party with the gift after wrapping it up and is approached by someone who says he needs to put the present down at the table and get out, but he replies that he is Kimís parent, not the other one. His ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) approaches him and tries to get him to leave, but he tries talking back to her when Maggie spots him from across the yard and runs to hug him.

She opens the present and is happy for it, but Lenore scolds him for the gift since she wanted to be a singer as a kid, sheís grown up now. She tells her dad that she does still, regardless of what her mother thinks, and they hug again. Stuart (Xander Berkley), who is now married to Lenore, brings out a horse for Maggie. She rides on it and Bryan looks around, puzzled by this, and gets approached by Stuart who tries to strike up a conversation. Bryan shrugs it off and leaves the party to get the photos developed from the camera that he took at the party.

He returns home and some of his friends are there talking about having their own get together. He reluctantly lets them in, and they talk about their past job at the CIA. They bring up how he left Kimís birthday parties before for his job, but he had to do it since that was his job back in the day. One of the guys lets Bryan know about a job protecting some big singer who may have a hit on her, and he does so. At the security job the singer gets taken away by Bryan and a stranger pops up and tries to kill her. Bryan quickly disarms the man and beats the living crap out of him and escorts the singer to the limousine.

One day he goes to see Kim and Lenore at a diner, although he didnít know that his ex-wife was showing up as well. Kim wants to go to see Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) although at first Bryan objects to the idea of her going out of state. He says no to the idea at the diner, but goes over to her house later in the day and lets her know that itís okay with him under a few strict rules. She has to call him when she gets there and make sure to always be in contact with him.

While in the car on the way to the airport, Kim and Bryan talk about his job and why Lenore doesnít bring it up much. Bryan tries to explain that his job was important to him and he didnít do anything wrong, but Kim just lets him know that things are okay and she says thanks for letting her go to Paris with Amanda. At Paris, Amanda and Kim meet Peter (Nicolas Giraud) who befriends them quickly, which is heavily suspicious to everyone but the two girls. Peter rides in a taxi with them and sees them to their house, where it turns out that Amandaís friends are on vacation and they have the huge house to themselves.

Bryan calls up Kim since he hasnít heard from her since he saw her at the plane the day before and scolds her for not calling, but Kim freaks out when she sees her friend kidnapped across the hall. Bryan tells her to run to the next bedroom and hide under the bed, even though he knows sheíll be kidnapped he lets her know that indeed, she will be kidnapped soon. He tells her to shout out everything she can about the kidnappers, and she is abducted. Bryan heads to Paris to find his daughter, and uncover what happened at the house.

Well, to be fair, thatís about the first twenty or so minutes of the movie. The rest of the film deals with Bryan killing pretty much everyone he comes into contact with in some sort of sweet manner. To be honest, every death was great and up to par with what I came to expect from the movie. The script is solid, the lines are great, and Neeson is phenomenal as a stone-cold Dad looking for revenge on the people who took his daughter.

I loved the movie itself and watched the unrated cut for this review. I do not know what is different about the Unrated/Rated cut, although I can assume since the runtime is only a few minutes apart, that it deals with a few of the killings or a little more dialogue.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Pierre Morel, Michael Abramowicz, and Michael Julienne: This isnít a commentary so much as a subtitle fest, as the entire thing is subtitled. Why put a commentary on that people has to read? The three talk about various things, such as shooting the film and the characters in it. Not that interesting, as I would have much rather preferred an English commentary. * Note, this is for the unrated version only *

Commentary by Robert Kamen: Iím always puzzled as to why some people are given their own commentaries rather than chime in on the other one, but I digress. Kamen isnít the most exciting person for a solo commentary, and thereís a good share of useless information he talks about. * Note, this is for the unrated version only *

Making of Taken (18 minutes): Your usual special feature that details some of the scenes in the movie and also provides interviews with the cast and crew. Some of it is subtitled which is a pain, but for those who liked the movie then be sure to check this out.

Avant Premiere (4 minutes): The first premiere of the film is shown, which happened in early 2008. The cast and crew are also interviewed about the movie as well, but this can be skipped as thereís nothing of value here.

Inside Action: Side by Side Comparisons (11 minutes): This shows how some of the scenes were shot, then shows how they were made to look. For those who like seeing how the scenes are filmed, this is the special feature for you.

A digital copy is also included.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Due to the video being watermarked, I canít accurately rate the video quality. When a non-watermarked copy comes in, I will update accordingly.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds great. From start to finish, both the front and rear speakers were used extensively and properly. Dialogue also sounded crisp, clear, and concise and there wasnít a time where I struggled to hear anything from the characters. The fight sequences also sounded amazing, as once again, the surrounds were used well! This is a phenomenal track, which surprised me to say the least.



.::OVERALL::.

Taken was a huge box-office shocker, and I have to admit it surprised me too. This is an action-packed movie from start to finish, with a great storyline thrown in for good measure. The audio is also near-reference material, but the special features although slightly plentiful arenít really that great. I recommend this as a purchase, so get going and take this one to the counter and buy it right now.