New on Blu-ray: Taken


Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Danny Glover, Geena Davis – these are the names of actors that went on bloody missions of vengeance to regain their children. Now Liam Neeson can count himself amongst them.

Bryan Mills (Neeson) is a government spy; but having missed most of his daughter Kim's (Maggie Grace) childhood, he's given up the life of espionage for a "normal" version that allows him to spend time with her. Instead, Kim goes to Paris where she's kidnapped by a human trafficking ring for prostitution. Mills immediately goes into special agent mode and sets out to get back his daughter by any means necessary.

What makes Taken standout from Commando or Missing in Action III is Neeson. He's not your typical action star, but he gets very dirty in this film. His cold, calculated attitude towards murder, coercion and prostitution is entrancing; yet he appears so mild-mannered it's also unsettling. One of the best moments of the film is Mills’ one-sided conversation with one of the kidnappers, in which he informs them of his intentions: "I will find you and I will kill you."

Mills is in control of all of the battles. There is never a moment when one thinks he may fail. The fight sequences are relatively bloodless, which does not at all detract from the intensity of the violence.

The special features include two commentaries, one with director Pierre Morel and cinematographer Michel Abramowicz (with subtitles) about decisions made while shooting; and the other is writer Luc Besson, who focuses mostly on character development. There's also a making of documentary aptly titled "Le Making-of" featurette as it is in French; side-by-side comparisons of six finished scenes with its on-set counterpart; and footage from the premiere of the film. By far, the coolest feature is the Black Ops Field Manual, which displays picture-in-picture geographical locators, anatomical information, relevant facts and a self updating mission dashboard that tracks distance travelled, time remaining and the number Bryan's killed and injured. A second disc holds a digital copy of the film.

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