Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Taken (2009)

Title : Taken
Director : Pierre Morel
Genre : Action | Crime | Drama | Thriller
Cast : Liam Neeson,Maggie Grace,Leland Orser
See : Trailer

Synopsis :
Bryan (Liam Neeson) has retired from a government Agency to live full-time in the US to be near his beloved 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). He lives in a modest apartment and carefully chooses a karaoke device and wraps it for the girl's birthday. Arriving at a luxury mansion, Kim's mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) is not happy to him. The wealthy new husband Stuart (Xander Berkeley)'s gift to Kim by comparison is a large horse. Later, eating alone, three friends drop by for cards and beer, one of them invites Bryan to pick up some quick cash working security with them escorting a female rock star to a nearby concert. After her vocal warmup Bryan asks Sheera (Holly Vance) for advice to give her daughter, an aspiring singer. Sheera answers "don't become one." At the concert things get anxious for a moment as security breaks down a bit and Bryan saves Sheera from a knife-wielding assailant. As thanks, Sheera offers to help Bryan's daughter with a vocal coach and a manager if she has any natural talent.

Bryan gets a phone call from Kim inviting him to lunch, he is excited and plans to let her know about Sheera's offer. Lenore comes to the lunch also and it becomes clear he was only invited to sign the parental consent Kim needs to take a vacation to Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy). Bryan is reluctant to agree, knowing of the dangers of the wrong parts of Paris, but Kim explains she'll be
staying with Amanda's cousins and spend most of her time in museums. Bryan says he will consider the matter which Kim takes as a no. Lenore rips Bryan for being too cautious as she wants the daughter to go and experience life. The next day Bryan shows up at the Stuart manse with the signed consent, a pre-paid international cell phone, and some conditions. Bryan must take her to the airport. She is to call him when she lands in Paris. She is to call him every night and tell him the address and phone number of any new place at which she will be sleeping. At the airport Bryan sees a map of Europe with several cities circled in a pocket of Kim's luggage. He confronts Lenore who admits the girls are going to follow U2's European tour, not just stay in Paris. Bryan is angry but it is too late to do anything about it.

Standing in the line for taxis outside the Paris airport, the two teens meet a friendly, handsome young European named Peter (Nicolas Giraud). He suggests they all share a taxi for the expensive ride downtown. Amanda immediately accepts and Kim agrees. While they wait, they have Peter take their picture with Kim's phone. Chivalrous Peter has the taxi drop the girls off first. He invites them to a
party that very night. Amanda agrees and brags about staying at her cousin's flat. It takes up the entire fifth floor and the girls will have it all to themselves. Kim uneasily asks where the cousins are and Amanda breezily announces the cousins are on vacation in Spain. As the taxi pulls away, Peter makes a quick phone call--he simply says "2 girls about 18" and the address of the apartment. As they enter the apartment, a giggly Amanda says she plans to have sex with Peter later on.

Back in the US, a concerned Bryan checks the arrival information and finds out Kim's plane has landed.
Amanda has cranked the music in the apartment to such a volume that neither girl hears Kim's phone ring when Bryan calls. Finally, Bryan gets a hold of Kim. While they talk, Kim can see Amanda across the courtyard. She sees two men grab Amanda and carry her bodily away from view while Amanda kicks and fights. Kim tells Bryan who immediately takes control and orders her to go into the nearest bedroom and hide under the bed. He asks how many men she saw and she thinks four. He tells her she will be taken and she must scream out any description of them she can. Bryan hooks up a tape recorder to his phone. Two men enter the bedroom and are puzzled they haven't found the second girl. They converse in a foreign language. Bryan tells Kim to hold the phone towards the men so he can hear their conversation. Kim is snatched from under the bed. Bryan hears her voice for a few more seconds, then, after a moment of quiet, Bryan hears heavy breathing. Bryan tells the kidnapper he doesn't have any money but that he has the skills to track them down. Either release his daughter unharmed or he will kill them. The kidnapper responds with an accented "good luck" and smashes Kim's phone.

Bryan sends the taped conversation to Sam, his ex-agency friend from the concert, who then provides a detailed report that identifies the language as Albanian and even narrows it down to one particular area of Albania. Sam tells him the Albanians kidnap girls for prostitution and Bryan has at most 96 hours before Kim will disappear forever. Bryan storms over to Stuart's and confronts him about possible business enemies of Stuart arranging Kim's kidnapping. Stuart and Lenore are surprised about how much of Stuart's business Bryan knows. Satisfied with Stuart's answers, Bryan tells Stuart he needs a private jet to Paris, asap.

Bryan first gains access to the girl's apartment. He visualizes the abduction and recovers the memory card from the smashed cellphone. At a d-i-y photo kiosk he finds the picture Peter took at the airport and zooms in on a reflection of Peter in the photo. At the airport Peter is using the same "share a taxi" line with a Swedish blonde. Bryan is there and assaults Peter to find out about the girls from
yesterday. A large man, Peter's accomplice tries to stop Bryan. Peter runs away. Bryan disposes of the partner and gives chase. Peter runs into traffic and is killed by a large truck.

Bryan then meets with an old acquuaintance, Jean-Claude, from French Intelligence to ask for help. The Frenchman tells Bryan where the Albanian-pimped hoolers are, he also sets up a tail to follow the American. Bryan hires an Albanian translator and meets him at the hooker area, telling him to wait in his car. Bryan then deliberately wastes a prostitute's time and her pimp comes over to rough up the
mild-mannered Bryan and demand some money. Bryan plants a listening device on him. Back in his car Bryan has the translator listen to the audio feed from the bug and translate the Albanian conversation. They talk about having trouble with some new merchandise at a nearby construction site.
Bryan excuses the translator after getting the Albanian-English dictionary Bryan had asked him to bring.

At the construction site, there is a long line of men waiting to get into a trailer. Bryan acts like a customer and joins the line. When Bryan reaches the head of the line, he hands the "doorman" his money and receives a scrap of paper with a single digit on it. Inside the trailer ropes have been strung with blankets draped over them to form rooms on either side of a center aisle. As he walks down the aisle he sees each "room" has a sign with a number on it. He enters the 'room" that matches his number and finds a cot with a stoned woman lying on it. She isn't Kim. She beckons him to come to her, but instead he starts pulling blankets aside to check the other "rooms". Since each room has a customer, this invasion of privacy starts a ruckus. Bryan has to deal with a couple bouncers as he makes his way
a long the length of the trailer. In the last room, he sees his duaghter's jacket and a drugged woman with hair like Kim. Rushing in he finds it isn't Kim. Bryan tries to question this woman, but she is so drugged she can't talk. So Bryan takes her to a Jeep SUV, hotwires the ignition and after a wild chase makes his escape from a swarm of angry Albanians. He drives to a quiet out-of-the-way hotel and
rents two room from the owner, another old acquaintance. Bryan rigs up an IV drip and injects the girl with another drug.

Jean-Claude demands a meeting with Bryan out in the open by the river. When Jean-Claude arrives, his cell rings. It is Bryan saying he doesn't trust meeting Jean-Claude (until he gets Kim back).

Jean-Claude says his boss hit the roof over the construction site violence. While the boss wanted Bryan arrested, Jean-Claude has convinced him to authorize instead a ticket to send Bryan back to America, "for previous services". Bryan refuses. Jean-Claude's men have been triangulating the source of Bryan's phone call and a squad of men burst onto a nearby rooftop. There they find a cell phone
rigged with a walkie talkie, Bryan is actually on another roof nearby. Bryan walks away easily.

The girl comes back to consciousness and tells Bryan she got the jacket from another girl, all she can remember is it was at a place with a red door on Rue Paradis. Bryan finds the red doors, walks in bold and confident, he presents Jean-Claude's business card as his own. Bryan is led past several thugs to a dirty kitchen. Four Albanians are seated around a table. Bryan tries to ascertain who is the leader
but they all claim to be Marco and all from the town Bryan's language expert had identified. Bryan gives them a story about their old police contact had been transferred and now "Jean-Claude" will be collecting the bribes which have just gone up. After some hard bargaining, a deal is reached and Bryan hinks he has identified the figure. Before he leaves, Bryan stops and says a friend gave him a note
in Albanian. He hands it to the apparent leader, and asks him to translate it. The leader (the real Marco) responds "good luck." Bryan recognizes the voice from Kim's cell phone and says to him "don't you remember me? I told you I was going to find you" and suddenly Bryan is shooting and fighting the house full of armed men. When the smoke clears, Bryan has killed all of them but Marco. Bryan searches for Kim in all the upper bedrooms of the building. He finds several women handcuffed to beds and Amanda's dead body (apparently dead due to a drug overdose). Bryan tortures Marco with electricty.

After trying to tough it out Marco tells Bryan Kim was sold to a man named Saint Clair, Bryan then turns the power back on and leaves the screaming man.

Jean-Claude comes home for supper to discover Bryan is visiting like an old friend. Jean-Claude's wife tells him to put the two kids to bed, as he does so he recovers a pistol that he tucks into the back of his waistband. Bryan accuses Jean-Claude of being involved with the Albanians and demands to know who is Saint Clair. Jean-Claude pulls out his pistol and aims at Bryan. Jean-Claude talks about the
gap between his pay and his expenses. Bryan then tosses a handful of bullets on the dining table and tells Jean-Claude that he has been behind a desk too long if he can't tell the difference in weight between a loaded gun and an unloaded one. Bryan pulls his own pistol and repeats his demand.

Jean-Claude refuses. Bryan shoots Jean-Claude 's wife in the arm, saying it's "only a flesh wound".

Jean-Claude uses his computer to access police files that identify and locate Saint Clair. Bryan then tells J-C to tell the wife he is sorry for shooting her then pistol whips the Frenchman to the floor.

Again posing as Jean-Claude, Bryan gains access to a party Saint Clair is hosting. Bryan discovers Saint Clair is hosting a much darker "party" on a lower level. Bryan assumes the guise of a waiter and gains access to a darkened room. It is one of a series of darkened rooms encircling an open stage. On the stage are a young doped up scantily clad woman and a handler. In each darkened cubicle a bidder presses a red button when they wish to bid. The auction ends and the girl is led away. The auctioneer announces the last and best woman of the evening's auction is a virgin; it is Kim. Bryan forces the buyer in this darkened room to outbid the others to purchase her, the bidding goes to 500,000 but Bryan is captured and knocked unconscious. He awakens suspended from a pipe just below the ceiling. He admits to the Englishman Saint Clair that he is the last girl's father. Saint Clair says too bad, its business and she is sold already, he orders his henchmen to execute Bryan quietly and leaves the room.

Despsite being shackled to an overhead pipe, Bryan manages to escape while killing the guards. Bryan meets the surprised Saint Clair standing in the elevator. Saint Clair pleads unsuccessfully for his life by saying "it was just business" and telling him Kim will be at the docks. Bryan shoots him dead and sends the elevator up to the party. Bryan races to the the river but misses the large yacht as it
cruises off down the river. Bryan drives a car through traffic to gain position on a bridge then jumps on to the ship as it comes underneath him. Onboard an older Arab man lies on a bed in a robe as a group of women in veils are led to his room. Bryan fights his way through the sheik's guards and enters the bedoom, the sheik has a curved knife held to her throat. Bryan takes aim and shoots the man in the head.

Back in the US, Kim is re-united with her mother. Lenore even hugs Bryan in thanks. Later, Bryan mysteriously collects Kim and takes her to a very nice home. As Kim knocks, Bryan steps back. Pop Diva Sheerah opens the door. It is her home and over her shoulder someone sits at a piano. Sheerah takes Kim by the arm while saying she had heard Kim wants to be a singer, let's see what you've got.

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