Tuesday, May 12, 2009
FATHER OF THE YEAR
Just watched Taken tonight (the PG-13 US version; I've heard there's a more violent European cut, but Netflix did not send me it). It's a combination of just about everything I like in a movie: a taciturn professional on a rescue mission, impassively destroying everyone in his path (Spartan); car chases, especially car chases through narrow European streets (Ronin); skeevy Euro-villains (Hostel); deadpan displays of staggering hand-to-hand combat (all three Bourne movies) and extensive but still somehow subtle gunplay; and best of all, a screenwriting team and a director who provide the absolute minimum of dialogue in order to set up the ass-kickery, and no more. There are no stupid plot twists, there are no jokes. Our hero has a few friends who show up to demonstrate that he's a human being and not merely a stone-faced killing machine, but they're gone once the real action gets going. Basically, it's a really good post-Mamet, post-Mann action movie with absolutely no interest in being anything else. It gets you in and out in almost exactly 90 minutes, and I recommend it very highly - either as a rental, or a Father's Day gift.