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Taken (2008) is an action movie produced by Luc Besson, written by Robert Kamen and directed by Pierre Morel. It is based on a father’s urge and desire to reunite with his teenage daughter. The father, Bryan Mills (Liam Nesson), is a retired Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer who hopes to recover the lost years of his daughter’s life while he was away from her. He tries to rekindle the ties by buying her an expensive karaoke machine on her birthday. This is based on the fact that he knows that she is interested in being a singer. Kim’s mother then convinces Bryan to allow their daughter to go on a trip to Paris with her nineteen year old friend. While in Paris, Kim is abducted and Bryan sets out to rescue his daughter from the abductors. Through a huge struggle, he manages to do so and is reunited with his daughter again. Taken is a film that does not have value.
Throughout the entire film, Bryan is the hero in every situation. This is not bizarre. However, it is the instances in which he emerges heroic that leave a lot to be desired in the mind of the audience. For instance, when he is taken in as a bodyguard during Sheerah’s concert, all other guards dealt with the rowdy mob while he specifically escorted Sheerah. When someone attacks Sheerah with a knife, Bryan breaks it off using his bare hands. This is unrealistic and leaves the audience wondering the extent of realism in the movie.
Another instance that illustrates the unrealistic heroism portrayed through Bryan is while looking for his daughter. While posing as one of the workers in a construction site, he manages to kill three Albanian Mafias on his own after noticing them having a girl wearing his daughter’s jacket. Later, the young girl reveals the house in which the others together with Kim have been held hostage. Bryan takes off and poses as a policeman and manages to kill six gangsters. This poses a lot of unrealistic acts by Bryan. This is given the fact that he always manages to kill all the enemies around him. This is an indication that his heroic nature as portrayed in the movie is predictable. This reduces the interest off the audience, and hence, the film has no value in regards to realistic characterization.
Another indication in lack of value is the lack of teamwork as portrayed throughout the movie. For example, Bryan is a retired CIA officer. Hence, when his daughter went missing, the most appropriate channel to rescue his daughter due to access of required informers and security. However, he chose to take the risk. This is not the picture that would be appropriate to the society at large. Going through an established network such as the CIA or the FBI would have been the preferred option to the audience viewing the movie.
Also, Jean-Claude and Bryan are initially on the same side but this seems to change with time. This was due to the fact that Jean-Claude had been working with the French Intelligence while Bryan was in the American Intelligence. However, this trust is broken and Bryan is even recorded saying that he could no longer trust Jean-Claude. It later becomes evident that Jean-Claude was falling for bribes to betray Bryan in the search for his daughter. The broken trust and teamwork is evident at the point when Bryan is at gun point as Jean-Claude asks him to give up the search. Bryan ends up shooting Jean’s wife twice on the arm in order for him to give up the address of the abductors. This is a clear illustration that the film has no values in relations to matters of teamwork. This is not what the audience would expect of two old friends in times of need like the one Bryan is in during the film.
Another illustration of lack of value in Taken is the dishonesty among family members. There are strained relationships in regards to family. For example, Bryan had abandoned his family while he was still working and had missed all the early years of his daughter’s upbringing. This had resulted in a divorce between him and his wife. The daughter was also brought up by a stepfather. The stepfather did not seem to care much about Kim because even his present of a horse during her birthday did not please her as much. This is an indication that Kim lacked the true love of her father when she needed him in her childhood.
Also, when Kim decides to go to Paris with her friend, Amanda, her mother is very supportive and persuades Bryan to sign her visa. However, they all hide the fact the Kim and Amanda are planning to go on a tour of Europe. This is an indication of dishonesty between parents and children. This is because Kim’s mother does not reveal this fact to Bryan, and he only finds out while at the airport. Amanda also make Kim believe that they would be living with her cousins in the house in Paris but this is not true. On arrival, Kim realizes that they were going to live alone with her Amanda in her cousin’s house. This is an indication of dishonesty and deceit among family members. This is a clear indication that the film has no values.
Therefore, it is evident that Taken is a film that only portrays action as it is but has no values to be emulated by the audience.