Episode 36: BARGAIN BIN #7 Taken (2008)

Taken cover site

Introduced by Patrick

You’re going to be taken… to a revisit of the most badass Brian you’ve ever encountered.

I still laugh to this day that Liam Neeson’s character is called ‘Brian Mills’. It’s hardly a cool name like ‘Jason Bourne’, but that’s one of the many reasons I enjoy this film so much – the ridiculousness.

I think it was 2009 in my old house in Leicester when my brother, girlfriend and I watched Taken together and had a really mixed response. I thought it was terrible, they loved it! For whatever reason thereafter, I decided to watch it again and something wonderful happened to me: I became obsessed. I say wonderful, because in the years since, man, how I enjoy watching this film.

My brother now lives in Manchester and I live in London, but whenever we meet up, inevitably, there’s a wee dram and you can bet your karaoke machine on us watching Taken together in the dead of night.

We’d laugh and quote along to the absurd dialogue, the deadpan Neeson delivery, Brian Mills’ quirks, the complete disregard for the law, judo chops, nosey translators, silk dresses or an unknown entity driving the boat (honestly, don’t get me started again because the list could go on and on!).

Somehow, somehow, this film is now in my top ten favourite ever films!!! It’s something I hold dear to my relationship with my brother now, a fond family pastime in recent years to go tear down Paris with Brian Mills every once in a while together.

I really have stopped caring that it isn’t that good a film; to me it’s a masterpiece in ‘so bad it’s fucking great’ modern cinema. I was delighted that my first ‘Bargain Bin’ choice with the Rewind troops was this film, I was so keen to discuss it with them and see if fresh perspectives could come from it. I wasn’t disappointed in the recognition of absurdity we all took from the plot as it races through its run time like Kimmy with her gangly limbs. Her excitement at following a rock band through Europe (yet not one U2 song appears in the film, haha!) matched by mine to talk about this film in this podcast.

Gali often talk’s about not wanting to let his (what must be mouldy by now) sandwiches out of his lunchbox, but here I am, heart on sleeve looking for fellow appreciators of this film, not because you think it is genuinely a ‘great film’ (which many do!) but because it’s akin to Eurotrash at its finest.

Apologies for not getting technical in this blog. I do think Neeson really holds the film in place with his impressive presence, most apparent in the infamous ‘particular set of skills’ monologue on the phone following on from Kimmy’s abduction, which packs a punch that illuminates a primal fear in the audience brilliantly and won’t be forgotten… unlike poor Amanda.

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