Taken ★★★★

Gosh what an unusual beast this is. It's a miracle it works as well as it does.

It starts off with a seemingly insurmountable heap of cheese, with ridiculous As the World Turns style dialogue and obnoxious music cues. It almost seems intentional to contrast with what follows.

And what follows works because of two reasons. First off, it doesn't stick to the rules. It treats its villain with contempt, wrong footing us by killing him off at a moment you wouldn't expect it.

And secondly there's mr. Neeson. As much as Action Neeson has become a caricature now, here he emanates a presence that is truly impressive. From the moment he does his bit on the phone everything just changes gears with Neeson firmly in the driver's seat.

The bookends around the superb middle let it down because of its cheesy silliness, but when it's good it's bloody brilliant.

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