I once ran into Liam Neeson. Literally walked right into him. He laughed. Ever since then I've thought he's pretty cool, though I haven't gone out of my way to see his moves. When Taken hit theatres I was both curious and wary. It looked like it could be good, but it had the dreaded PG-13 rating which meant it couldn't be that good. What I didn't know at the time was that it's a French-prouduced film. Europe has a different, some would say more lax, rating system than the US. As I write this I'm not sure how often or how well the two come together, but needless to say the PG-13 version of Taken is pretty violent. What I watched, however, was the "harder cut" European DVD. So it's even more violent.
Liam Neeson kicks a lot of ass as he shoots, stabs, and electrocutes his way through Paris to find the sex traffickers who've stolen his daughter.
That, right there, is the entire plot. I really like no-bullshit action like this. Rambo 4 was just as simple. That's not to say I don't like to think my way through a movie, but there's something to be said for just sitting back and letting the bodies pile up as the hero single-mindedly pursues the badguys, killing his way to the end of the film.
If I were to lodge one complaint, it would be that Taken presents the most extreme case of father knows best. From the moment the film begins, Liam Neeson has nothing but bad things to say regarding the world in which he and his teenage daughter live. He's worked in the real world and he knows that it's full of people who want to hurt you. And he turns out to be absolutely right. But I'm willing to forgive Luc Besson and everyone else this one minor offense because Taken is so damn good.