Taken’ just might take your lunch

by Hannah PickettStaff Writer

Sex, lies, scandal, drugs, adventure and violence-all the elements of a great movie-are present in the new release, box-office hit, “Taken.”

The movie’s title says it all.

It starts with what has become a typical family dynamic, a father desperately struggling to be involved in the life of his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Katie Cassidy), after a divorce left the girl with her mother and stepfather.

After the father, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), a retired government agent, drops his life and uproots to be closer to Kim in California, she decides that she wants to spend the summer with her 19-year-old friend Amanda and her cousins in Paris. Despite apprehension about his daughter’s desire to travel without supervision at such a young age, Mills eventually consents to Kim’s wishes, even seeing the girls off at the airport.

But this wouldn’t make for a thriller of a movie if there wasn’t conflict while Kim was overseas, would it? Of course not.

The conflict arises when the girls land in Paris. Amanda immediately becomes boy-crazed and starts flirting with a guy right outside of the airport. The three end up sharing a cab to Amanda’s cousin’s place where the girls were to be staying for the summer.

The boy invites the girls to a party he’s having that night. Amanda, without hesitation, tells him they’d love to go, arranges a time for him to pick them up and even tells him which floor they live on and reveals they have the place to themselves.

Too bad the girls weren’t paying attention in their kindergarten classes when the teacher said to always tell the truth and to never talk to strangers.

If they would have realized that everything they needed to know they learned in kindergarten, they wouldn’t have been abducted in broad daylight.

The girls didn’t even have time to get unpacked before the guy from the cab and his friends or coworkers burst in to take the girls. Kim was on the phone with her father when Amanda was taken, continuing the phone call until she was abducted.

Mills dusts off his phone-bugging gear to record the conversation depicting the abductor’s voices and ultimately propells a chase across the world.

The abductors drug and sell the girls into a high-profit prostitution business, while Mills is relentless in finding his daughter in the 96-hour window of time given from the time of the abduction to never seeing Kim again.

Ultimately, this movie was a thrilling story about a father so desperately trying to reconnect with his daughter that he high-tails it across the world, killing anyone in his path to rescue his little girl from the nauseating, sleazy business of prostitution. It’s a revamped version of the traditional notion that at the end of the day, daddy is the hero who will go to all lengths to rescue his little princess.

In the end, this was a great movie that solidified all of my apprehensions about ever studying abroad. If you want a realistic nail-biter that keeps you on the edge of your seat, white-knuckling the person’s hand sitting next to you, this is your movie. But a word to the wise, if you don’t have a strong stomach, don’t come with a full one.