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YMMV: Taken

  • Acceptable Targets: Apparently the French, who produced this film, still don't like Albanians. They also take shots at the French law enforcement. 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.
  • 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 kindnappers could have saved themselves alot 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: "Liam Neeson as an action hero? Pull the other one." It's worth noting that people said the same thing about Matt Damon just before The Bourne Identity came out. Just before.

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


  • Cliché Storm: Largely the point.
  • 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.

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