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The International Writers Magazine Film Review:

Directed by Pierre Morel starring Liam Neeson
Russ Thomas

This film is a vigilante’s dream: a kidnapping that is resolved all balls and no doddering around like an incapacitated child. Ex-CIA spy, Bryan (Liam Neeson) finds that his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), is kidnapped by a gang of Albanian sex-traffickers in Paris, and with his "particular skills" he vows to seek out and kill her captors and rescue her from the horrible life that would inevitably follow.

There is conviction in Bryan’s voice as he tells head-Albanian ‘Marco’ that he will kill him, and you know exactly what will happen. But because of the mystery surrounding the seemingly placid family man, divorced from ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and living away from his daughter, you want to see how he goes about this.

And how does he get from A to B? Brutally. There is no mercy in this one man’s quest for revenge. It is a fast-paced action flick, gloriously gritty in Neeson’s no-shit approach to anyone who stands in his way. There’s no I’ll-let-you-live pity for the Albanian traffickers. No. And as Neeson makes his way up the corrupt system, which has – although realistic – become something of a cliché, he becomes no less vitriolic. Pimps, policemen, rich men are all given the same treatment: head shut in a door, smashed against a sink, hit with a fire extinguisher, shot, stabbed, punched, kicked, choked – neck-breakingly vicious sounds that resound pleasantly in you. You feel an affinity with Bryan as he searches mercilessly for Kim, especially in one particular scene in which he comes across the drugged-up, barely-alive young girls which have also been kidnapped. All of his actions are then quite acceptable and you will enjoy watching him plough through people till the very end.

Forgetting the initial surprise at otherwise-mild-mannered Neeson’s first burst of violence, there is nothing particularly special about this film. It delivers what it promises at the beginning throughout the film, and ends exactly the way you would think it would end. There’s just something about it, however, something about the speed of events which is satisfyingly fast and unmatchedly furious. It would be unfair to call this sentimental, because it isn’t, despite the almost sickening father-daughter bond, but then everyone has to have a reason to do something. It is simply a shocking expose of sex-trafficking and a show of how even the gentlest of men can be an absolute machine if something precious is taken from him. All guns blazing works this time.

©   Russell Thomas October 8th 2008
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