Friday, January 27, 2012


Directed by Pierre Morel.
2009. Rated PG-13, 91 minutes.
Liam Neeson
Famke Janssen
Maggie Grace
Leland Orser

After reluctantly letting his teenage daughter go on a trip to Paris with a friend, Bryan Mills' (Neeson) daughter Kim (Grace) is kidnapped on her first day abroad. Hunting "them" (those responsible) down, finding them and killing them ensues.

Action! After a few minutes of our hero stressing about building a relationship whit his daughter it transforms into an adrenaline junkies' fix. We get lots of car chases, fight scenes, shootouts and myriad other forms of badassness. Two other things aid the movie immensely. First, Neeson's performance is spot on. He stoically goes about his business and projects his voice so authoritatively you believe whatever he's spouting off. Second, the runtime is kept short. At a shade over 90 minutes, it doesn't have time for long, emotional scenes that break up the action. It's a tightly packed rush with the cute stuff serving as bookends to the carnage.

Plot-wise, I've already seen this movie probably 500 to 1000 times without exaggeration. You probably have, too. Think about it: bad guys kidnap, kill or rape someone in the good guy's family (maybe even the entire family) without realizing that the good guy is/was some sort of special agent and won't be taking any of this BS too lightly. Basically, it's a Steven Segal movie without Steven Segal. And yes, it has many of the implausibilities and eye-rolling moments that come along with that.

True, I did, in fact, call this a Steven Segal movie. However, it's a very well done one. Therefore, if you're into action flicks at all turn your brain off, except for that miniscule portion that compels you to shovel popcorn into your mouth and suck back the beverage of your choice while your eyes delight in images of mayhem and you'll enjoy it. Scrutinize it even a little and you'll ruin it for yourself.

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