"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."    - Bryan Mills

release year: 2008
genre: action/drama
viewing setting: home Bluray 4/11/20 and 10/20/13 and home DVD 12/6/10 and 12/27/09 and 5/14/09

synopsis: A retired black ops agent heads to Paris to find his kidnapped daughter before she becomes unfindable.

impressions: Outstanding. The plot is set up early and efficiently: within four days, his daughter will be sold into slavery and will, for all intents and purposes, vanish from the face of the earth. The clock is ticking and there's not a moment to waste. The main character, Mills, clearly was some kind of government badass, either an assassin or a spy or something. He thinks on his feet, wastes no time, and is extraordinarily lethal. Basically this guy gets on the trail of the people who took his daughter and he just won't let go. He does whatever it takes to move onward in his quest, and anyone who gets in his way is expendable. This is the sort of movie that, had it been made with Arnold or Stallone or Seagal, would have been ridiculed...but the filmmakers got a credible non-action star, made their movie well with good pacing and good direction while leaving out the corny one-liners, and it's really entertaining to watch in a grim sort of way.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Electric-shock torture via metal spikes driven into the legs.

acting: Liam Neeson is great as the quietly efficient and extremely capable man who just wants his daughter back. Maggie Grace is the 17-year-old daughter who thinks she knows everything but of course does not; she's completely unappreciative of both how easy a target she is and how much her father would do for her. Famke Janssen is Mills' ex-wife and the mother of their daughter, and she's good as a really stupid person, the kind who constantly complains and criticizes and wonders why the world needs people like her ex-husband...until something happens where the only possible solution is someone like her ex-husband. This is exactly the sort of witless American tourist who goes to Paris and is so busy looking at the Eiffel Tower in the distance that they don't realize they've walked into a crime-infested slum.

final word: Superior action movie that doesn't feel like a standard action movie.

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