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(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 25min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 17, 2009
May 24, 2009

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Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... Gotta let go of the kids sometime, right? Even if it kills them?

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Europa Corp, M6 Films, Grive Productions, Canal+, TPS Star, M6, All Pictures Media, Papillon Productions, Wintergreen Productions
Distribution (US): 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Director(s): Pierre Morel
Producer(s): Luc Besson, Didier Hoarau, Franck Lebreton, Michael Mandaville
Written by: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Cinematography/Camera: Michel Abramowicz
Music: Nathaniel Mechaly
Film Editing: Frédéric Thoraval
Casting: Ferne Cassel, Nathalie Cheron
Production Design: Hugues Tissandier
Art Direction: Gilles Boillot, Nanci Roberts
Viewed 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment DVD

This analysis is sponsored by E&HP.

Wow! It is bewildering what the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) thinks is acceptable for your 13 year old kids (and younger). Taken is saturated with brutal and graphic violence and murder. What was it God said about "evil communications?" [1 Cor. 15:33] Wasn't it something about bad company (such as the influence of the violence and murder) corrupts good behavior? Yes. That is what He said. He also said that s/he who teaches and/or causes our youth (which includes 13 year old kids) to sin would be better off with a millstone tied about his/her neck then cast into the sea. [Luke 17:2] And all this is not to give credit to what is said by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Association of Pediatrics, the Ameri .... Wow!

Ex-Federal "preventer" Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) finds himself unwillingly drawn back into that from which he has retired.

Mills is approached by his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) to let his 17 year old daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) tour the museums of Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy).

Little does daddy know that Kim's is lying and plans (with the approval of her mother and step father) to tour Europe with the U2 band. But when packing the trunk with Kim's luggage, Bryan spies a map with the U2 tour route highlighted. Suddenly the truth daddy knows ... and "NO's!" Now mother launches a "How's she going to learn about the real world otherwise" guilt trip on ex-hubby and daughter launches a sob session on him.

Eventually Bryan spares his soul for Kim's crying [Prov. 19:18] and lets her go deeply against his better judgment. Kim soon finds she needs daddy and his special skills ... painfully and discovers his wisdom.

As a side plot, in addition to wanting to tour Europe with U2 as a groupie, Kim wants to be a singer. Conveniently the plot has Bryan work a short stint as security for a popular singer, Sheerah (Holly Valance). Bryan relates to Sheerah his daughter's wishes to be a singer. In an episode of attempted kidnapping of Sheerah, Bryan shows his special skills are still sharp. Though Sheerah had earlier advised Bryan to tell his daughter to stay out of the performing world, out of gratitude Sheerah gives Bryan a card with names and numbers on it to get his daughter started in the vocal arts.

Now Kim is standing in Paris. With Amanda. Soon a smooth talking teen boy who says he, too, is touring arrives to open a dialogue with the girls. In an effort to minimize cab fare the stranger offers to share a ride with the girls. Bad idea. The girls become entrapped in an organization that traffics in women. If only mom and daughter had listened to dad in the first place. Oh, well. Gotta let go of the kids sometime right? Even if it kills them? That it did ... to Amanda. And a lot of bad guys along the way.

Such is the rest of the story as Mills creates a trail of dead bodies and increases the hospital population as he relentlessly tries to rescue his daughter.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
As mentioned in the Summary/Commentary above, this film is rife with violence. Assaults with knives, guns and other objects as weapons. Threats to kill. Attempts to kill. Defensive killings. Pursuits to kill. Gunfire to kill. Vehicular deaths. Torture and killing by electrocution. And more. A l-o-t more. All with the "justification" of a father rescuing his daughter. There is a serious danger herein of the temptation to think/feel "I would do the same if it were my daughter" And therein lies one of the greatest powers of cinema -- to create emotions to suit the story. By the truckload. That is what filmmakers do. God warns us of such influence in many ways. Two of them are found in 1 Cor. 15:33 and in Prov. 16:29. Only two. God speaks darkly and disapprovingly of violence 56 times from Genesis to Revelation.

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Nineteen times someone utters profanity in one form or another. A wife is verbally vicious to her ex-husband (at least until daddy saves the daughter's life). A mother and daughter pair are deceitful toward the daughter's father. A teen girl coaches another teen girl to give up her virginity. Lies are used frequently, mainly to lure young girls into sexual servitude. Even the background song at the end of the movie, though it makes little sense, speaks of lust and sin with profanity. [Col. 3:5 - 8]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 45 out of 100
This film explores much of the elements of trafficking in women and prostitution. It is ugly as one would expect the matter to be ugly in real life. But that "real life" is that way in such matters does not excuse feeding our minds with such material, especially for entertainment. [Phil. 4:8, Col. 3:20]

In addition, a teen girl plans illicit sexual intercourse as a "benefit" of deceiving her parents and coaches another girl to have illicit sex. [Is. 30:1, Hebr. 13:4] A number of vulgar comments freckle the script. [Eph. 5:4] A number of lies are spoken, in particular a lie to a father from his daughter. [Rev. 21:8]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 53 out of 100
There are four instances of alcoholic beverages and four instances of drinking them. As in analyses of other teen flicks with booze and drinking in them, I offer the following.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions.

    The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of R-13 proven by this ministry in 2000 with which Harvard University scientists agreed four years later. The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification. [Eph. 5:18]

    Offense to God (O) - 25 out of 100
    God's name in used in vain a total of 14 times, 13 of them without the four letter expletive and once with it. "...without the four letter expletive?" I can find nothing that says the use of His name in vain without the four letter expletive is any less severe in consequences than speaking His name in vain with it. In Deut. 5:11 God warns that s/he who uses His name in vain will not be held guiltless. Yes, that includes the popular three-syllable sentence with His name trailing it.

    Further, the popular hand gesture for "rock" is displayed once. Little do most parents know that such a hand gesture is also the gesture of recognition between satanists. The reason I bring this up is to arm parents with knowledge so they may make an informed decision if they see their kids displaying such a gesture. It may be an "innocent" unawares gesture ... or it may not. See our Back to School Special for more information.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - Zero out of 100
    At least 24 times someone is murdered, usually a bad guy but it is murder nonetheless since the murderer is not authorized to kill. Most of the murders are done by Mills of bad guys who get in his way of rescuing his daughter. Some are defensive killings, which are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area, but most are deliberate acts of killing. It matters not to the final score into which investigation area such acts are incorporated. The scoring distribution over the six investigation areas (see the CAP thermometers) would change but the final score would be the same whether the acts of murder are incorporated into the Wanton Violence/Crime or Murder/Suicide investigation area.


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 19:18 Chasten [correct, guide, discipline] thy son [child] while there is hope, and let not thy soul [the seat of emotions, passion] spare for [give way to] his crying.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen whether for good or evil. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information.]
  • Col. 3:5 - 8 Col. 3:5 Mortify (deprive of strength, make dead) therefore your members (parts of the body) which are upon the earth; fornication (illicit sexual intercourse), uncleanness (lustful living, impure motives), inordinate affection (depraved, vile affections), evil concupiscence (lusting after, desire for what is forbidden), and covetousness (greedy desire to have more, avarice), which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
  • Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. [Woe unto parents who abuse such authority!]
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure [which includes before AND during marriage AND gender], for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. [Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. [The "whoremonger" (the sexually immoral) may be summed up as the one who chooses to freely participate in any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19].
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Taken (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • assault with blade with intent to kidnap
  • brutal abduction, two
  • threat to kill, repeatedly
  • flashbacks of assault, repeatedly
  • multiple additional assaults of varying intensities, repeatedly, including a series of assaults
  • pursuit to capture or kill, repeatedly
  • traffic fatality - graphic
  • defensive killing
  • gunfight
  • gunfire to kill, frequent
  • vehicular death
  • multiple deaths and injuries during pursuit to kill
  • scenes of drugged and dead young women
  • torture with electricity to force cooperation
  • firearms for offensive, repeatedly
  • gunshot injury to man's wife to extort
  • physical assault with gun to face
  • attempted murder
  • use of firearms to control, repeatedly
  • physical assault with injury to disable, repeatedly
  • order to kill
  • gunshot to disable
  • reckless driving to capture with multiple counts of reckless endangerment
  • firearm threat, repeatedly
  • sequence of action violence - fighting for life
  • knife threat to throat of young woman

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 19 uses of profanity
  • verbally vicious ex-wife, repeatedly
  • mother/daughter deceit of father
  • teen girl coaching another teen girl to lose virginity
  • teen lying to father, repeatedly
  • lies to lure into sexual servitude/slavery
  • background song of lust and sin with profanity

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 45 out of 100
  • teen planning sexual intercourse
  • proposition from prostitute
  • vulgar gesture and crude anatomical reference
  • trafficking of women for sex, frequent
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/o skin exposure
  • upper female nudity with thong underwear - teen

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 53 out of 100
  • booze
  • drinking

    Offense to God (O) - 25 out of 100
  • 14 uses of God's name without the four letter expletive and once with it
  • horned hand display

    Murder/Suicide (M) - Zero out of 100
  • sequence of 11 murders by blade, gunfire and other forms
  • murder by electrocution
  • murder by gunfire, frequent
  • murder with blunt objects, repeatedly
  • murder by neck break

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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