Saturday, November 7, 2009
Ah, the tender love a father. . . . OK, so maybe Liam Neeson's character's love for his daughter wasn't expressed so tenderly in Taken, but it certainly knew no bounds! The preview for this movie gripped me, and it didn't disappoint. It's an action movie, to be sure, but it's action driven by a father's unrelenting desire to rescue his daughter from the grips of a human trafficking ring.
Bryan Mills is an unassuming man. He sheepishly shows up at his daughter's birthday party and is treated like the hired help by his ex-wife, who married a multi-millionaire. His daughter Kim shows genuine appreciation for her dad's gift, but it is immediately overshadowed by the step-dad's gift horse, which she doesn't look in the mouth.
It turns out that Mills was in the CIA, and was serving his country abroad, leaving his wife feeling a tad neglected. So now, years later, regretting neglecting his family, Mills has quit and moved to be near his daughter in hopes of reconnecting with her. So when she begs his permission for her to travel to Paris with her friend, he swallows his better judgment and lets her. He warns her that it's not a good idea, and insists that she stay in close contact with him while she's in Europe.
Good thing, because his worst fears are realized when she's abducted immediately upon arriving at the apartment where she would be staying. I know it sounds a little far-fetched, but it's actually pretty believable. Through some quick thinking and lucky breaks, Mills gets enough information to start his one-man hunting party. Suffice it to say he is willing to kill anyone in his path to get his daughter back. And lots of people get in his path!
Often times we as parents feel helpless to provide our children with whatever they need. Whether providing daily needs, treating an illness, coping with a disability, walking through hardships, dealing with pain, or whatever they face, parents sometimes go to extreme, heroic measures to fulfill their parental responsibilities. Let Bryan Mills be an inspiration. Behind the special-forces, hand-to-hand combat, espionage skills--which few of us can relate to--is the commitment to pull out all the stops to be a parent--which every parent wants to do.
Bottom line, 3 stars.
On a side note, the world of sex trafficking is amazing and mysterious to me. Assuming the trade as presented in the movie reflects reality, there isn't a punishment bad enough for those criminals. Thankfully, some people are doing something about it. One group is the International Justice Mission. They are on the ground, putting themselves on the line, not just addressing sex trafficking, but other injustices as well.