Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

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Movie Review

Taken dir. Pierre Morel — 1.3

How does this rank with your average revenge-fantasy tripe? Hmmm...lessee. Fifty year old (and looking every day of it) Liam Neeson is a former CIA badass who ruined his marriage with frowny Famke Janssen by being so patriotic. Liam's daughter wants to go to Paris for the summer, but he's against it. Of course, since the inevitable step-dad gives the daughter a pony for her birthday, Liam relents. Sure enough, within an hour of arriving in Paris....Liam's daughter is kidnapped by white slavers! Is that a joke? Nope, the white slavers are still around after all these years. And these ones are Albanian. Why? Cause it's no longer politically correct to have action henchmen be Iraqi, Vietnamese, Nicaraguan, or Russian, all formely justifiably kill-able. So Albanians are safe. At least until we invade Tirana. In the meantime, Liam sure kills a lot of them. At least 30 menacingly stubbled dudes bite it, most of them with karate neck-chops. Of course, since Liam used to be in the CIA, it automatically means he's: The world's best hand-to-hand fighter, the world's deadliest knife fighter, a tech/gadget genius, the world's greatest stunt driver, the world's best marksman, AND a great dad. What exactly do they train these guys in at Langley that they don't train Albanians in at Albanian Thug School? So, Liam goes nuts in Paris, is never arrested or really bothered by the cops at all, tortures some dudes, shoots a few wives, kills innumerable sleazy pimps, and gets his daughter back. Whew, I was worried there for a minute that she wasn't going to be rescued. Oh, and, of course, Liam chases a yacht in an Audi and....DRIVES AGAINST ONCOMING TRAFFIC. It's just not possible, Mr. Screenwriter, to drive against traffic on a two-lane road. Why? Well, for one thing, instead of being conveniently staggered for quick swerving back and forth, sometimes THERE ARE CARS IN BOTH LANES. That means quick swerving back and forth isn't going to help much. It means you're going to get in a head-on accident and have to sit there crushed against the product-placement Audi symbol on the steering column while French EMT's use the French Jaws of Life (machiores de la vie?) to free your crushed legs, and then your daughter will forever be the slave of a shiek that looks like Dom DeLuise. Oh, yeah, also Liam avoids a lot of point-blank gunfire by ducking. Man, those Albanians can't shoot for shit.
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