Release Date: January 30, 2009

I'm guessing her favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Position Staff In Brief
11/169 Max Braden Not quite on the level of Jason Bourne, but it still manages to go a step further than you expect.
11/20 Les Winan Thrilling and effective.
14/82 Kelly Metz Why waste time with pointless sub-plots and useless dialogue? Liam Neeson kicks ass and takes names from the get-go. Really entertaining.

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One of the most underrated action films of the last 20 years is the French film Banlieue 13, also known as District B13 as per its North American title. Set in the near future in a Paris that has segregated its “troublesome” members of society, the film was the first ever major motion picture to feature Parkour, the free running sport/activity that must be seen to be believed. The strength of that film, other than the fact that the producers were smart enough to cast one of the creators of Parkour, is its high energy and relentless pace. Pierre Morel, the director of B13 is also behind the camera for Taken, an action thriller starring Liam Neeson and Famke Jansen.

While this is only Morel’s second foray into direction, his resume includes extensive experience on over a dozen other projects including The Transporter 2, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and Bernardo Bertolluci’s The Dreamers. So chances are Taken will at the very least look good even though the plot is your standard garden variety action story.

Liam Neeson plays an ex-spy who delves into the world of slave traders to rescue his estranged daughter, as played by Lost’s Maggie Grace. Neeson is the key to the film’s success. As mentioned, the film should look good, and early previews show that it does, but it is up to Neeson to bring some gravitas to the story much like George C. Scott brought weight to the similarly plotted Hardcore. Neeson is certainly up to the task; not only is he a gifted actor but his role in Batman Begins and Kingdom of Heaven shows that he can be effective in a physical role. (Walid Habboub/BOP)

Vital statistics for Taken
Main Cast Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace
Supporting Cast Katie Cassidy, Famke Janssen, Goran Kostic
Director Pierre Morel
Screenwriter Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox
Screen Count 3,183
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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