YMMV: Taken

Movie

  • Acceptable Targets: Apparently the French, who produced this film, still don't like Albanians. They also take shots at the French police. Possibly also the Swiss and Muslims, referring to Patrice St. Clair and the sheik in the final showdown, as well as sex traders/human traffickers, but it'd take an especially oozy bleeding-heart to feel sorry for them over the poor women they abduct.
    • The Albanian gangsters are also Muslim, as shown with the funeral in the second film and the traditional Islamic greeting of "salaam alaykum" that they give each other.
      • Which is not correct. It is just there to show they are Muslim.
    • Luc Besson has a similar attitude to the French justice system as American 80s action films have to the US justice system: the "establishment" (judges, prosecutors and police chiefs) are impotent or corrupt, but one or two Cowboy Cops can strike a telling blow for justice.
    • Or, you know, the acceptable targets are people involved in sex slavery, regardless of ethnicity, religion or anything else.
  • Critical Dissonance: Although Taken got generally lukewarm reactions from critics, it was very popular with moviegoers and grossed over $200 million worldwide.
    • The sequel got harsher criticism, but box office was still fine. It eventually became one of the most successful French movies ever worldwide, surpassing the first by more than $100 million.
  • Ending Fatigue: Taken 3. First, there's the climactic Storming the Castle final shootout on Oleg Malankov's hideout, which ends with Bryan defeating Malankov. Then, Malankov reveals that he was merely The Dragon to Stuart's plan all along, with Stuart having played both Bryan and Malankov. Stuart wounds Sam and kidnaps Kim, forcing Bryan to chase after Stuart to an airport in a Porsche and eventually ramming it into the wheels of Stuart's plane, where he climbs out of the plane's remains and is ultimately subdued by Bryan by being shot and by being knocked out when Bryan pistol whips him.
  • Escapist Character: Bryan is this for the middle-aged set. Despite being a middle-aged divorcee, he's still freakishly competent on his his quest(s) to save his family (that does still love him, deep down), including rescuing his (explicitly) virginal college-aged daughter.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Liam Neeson has stated that since the film came out, people have come up to him and said they will never send their kids to Europe and thanked him for making this movie to warn them. He's not too thrilled about that.
  • Idiot Plot: The kidnappers could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they just let her go and dropped her off at the US Embassy the moment they realized who Kimi was, who her father was, and the fact that he was in Paris looking for them.
  • Memetic Mutation: The website True LAD (think stereotypical "lads" story in the style of FML or IMMD) will occasionally see a story about Taken or at least referencing it, presumably due to Neeson's sheer badassery. These story's range from just quoting the "I will find you..." line, saying how even though they have it on DVD, will be watching it on the TV later, or claiming how if they'd saved Holly Valance from being stabbed they'd ask for more than free singing lessons for their daughter... All these "stories" invariably have high numbers of votes up.
    • More generally, the "I will find you and I will kill you" speech is frequently quoted, and the specifics of it are often swapped to apply it to other Liam Neeson roles.
    • The satirical Youtube series CinemaSins gives a sin for every scene Liam Neeson is not killing someone due to this movie. They (and many others) also liken Neeson to a God of badassery.
  • Narm: In the third film, the blood in the hall is literally the only sign that Lenore is dead, as there's no blood at all on the body, the bed, or even the murder weapon. Bryan later says her throat was slashed, which would cause massive bleeding, but we see no evidence of this.
    • Dotzler's winning logic for why Bryan couldn't have killed Lenore: "the bagels were still warm."
    • Good luck trying to take the final fight between Bryan and Malankov seriously as the latter spends most of the fight in tighty-whities.
  • Nominal Hero: Bryan may actually be a step below Anti-Hero, considering that he is motivated purely by the rescue of his daughter, and is completely willing to do whatever it takes to save her, including torturing Jean-Claude's wife and threatening to make his children orphans. He only seems mildly disturbed by the sex ring itself and rescues a sex slave from it to get info. Chances are the utter carnage Bryan left behind gives a trail for French authorities to save them. Based on the conversations with his friends about his CIA past, he may have done some outright villainous things in his career, though that is left to speculation.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The hilariously out-of-his-depth translator that Bryan hires as well as the Affably Evil Punch Clock Villain he talks to after being captured.
  • The Scrappy: What’s there to like about Lenny or Lenore in the first film? She’s incredibly rude towards Bryan and goes out of her way to keep him away from Kimmie. She also pressures Bryan into letting Kimmie go to Paris and is ok with her lying about the museum visits.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Much like Leslie Nielsen in Airplane!, Liam Neeson was able to use this film to completely change his career track into a bunch of other Badass Grandpa roles, meaning younger viewers may find it hard to appreciate how shocking it was at the time to see such a serious, highbrow actor doing a film like this.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Many people feel this was the best 24 movie ever.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Murad could have been a sympathetic Anti-Villain as an avenging Papa Wolf if more time had been spent on showing his relationship with his family, including the late son he's avenging. However, he quickly proved himself every bit the scumbag his son had to have learned from, and then there was no turning back.
    • There's also the case of Bryan's former colleagues, particularly Sam (Leland Orser). Some people commented that it would have been nice to see Bryan team up more with his government friends to help take down the prostitution rings as a team. Some were disappointed something like this didn't occur in the sequel, as it would have been an interesting shift in the series' dynamic. Finally they help him out in the third film.
  • Values Dissonance: The negative depiction of Albanians comes across as extremely unsettling.
  • What an Idiot: You've just kidnapped two girls and broken the cellphone one was using. Would you (A) just leave the scene or (B) assure that the data storage card got broken with the phone? Nah, just pick (A) and give the investigator a lead.

Bryan: "If you don't clean up this Natter, I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you."

Miniseries

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The aliens.
    • Are they truly emotionless beings that have no concept of good or evil?
      • They never intentionally kill anyone and don't conquer the planet despite their huge technological superiority.
    • On the other hand even the aliens seemingly act with more wanton cruelty than is necessary. Instead of whisking away a pregnant Lisa Clarke from pursuing agents (they can beam people through solid walls), they surround her with a dangerous energy field that burns anyone approaching it.
  • Cliché Storm: Largely the point.
  • God-Mode Sue: Not only does Allie have immense powers that close to reality warping, but she is shown to be wise beyond her years and almost infallible.
  • Les Yay: Lisa and Nina.
  • Squick: The relationship between Mary and Dr. Wakeman, even if it's for this line alone after they have sex:
    Dr. Wakemen: I've wanted this since you were 13.
    Mary: Me too.
  • True Neutral: Dr. Wakeman is a 'don't care' variant. He just wants to see what the aliens can do. When the aliens come down and take the bodies and equipment right in front of his eyes (costing him his job), he just laughs in wonder.