About six weeks ago I was sitting in a theatre, waiting patiently for “Punisher: War Zone” to begin…and of course by “waiting patiently” I mean “rocking back and forth in my seat, rubbing the skull on my shirt while gleefully anticipating the carnage to come”. The lights went down, the trailers kicked in, and I was treated to the onscreen image of a screaming woman, followed by the awesome Irishness of Liam Neeson reciting a monotone threat into a cellphone, promising death to the guy on the other end if the woman – Neeson’s daughter – was not released immediately. I actually got goosebumps, something that doesn’t normally happen to me during trailers…well, not unless there’s some guy in a mask wreaking havoc on villains from my childhood. Not from my actual childhood, mind you; I’d hate to think anyone from “Watchmen” would take the time to punch a hole in the chest of my high school dean Mr. Sorrick. Well, maybe Rorschach could feed him to dogs or something… Anyway, at that moment I was in…and yet, there was more. After Neeson basically promised this unseen guy that death was imminent, the guy drops this on Shamrock McBadass… “Good luck.” That’s right, Mr. I’ve Got Your Daughter decided to taunt Liam Neeson. Fresh goosebumps abounded; obviously this mystery man had never seen “Gangs Of New York”, in which Liam Neeson plays the most murderous priest this side of Torquemada. By the way, did you know that 334 years after his death Torquemada’s tomb was ransacked, and his bones stolen and burned? I did…and yet, this fate seemed quaint compared to what I knew was going to befall Cellphone Jenkins for his verbal line in the sand to our man Liam. Seconds later, one word appeared on the big screen: “Taken”. I immediately was, and couldn’t wait for opening night. “Taken” is a tight ninety-one minutes, sixty-five of which are Liam Neeson absolutely bigfooting everyone he meets in a relentless quest to get back his daughter (Maggie Grace, doing a lot of screaming) who has been kidnapped in France. The first twenty minutes of the film establish the relationships of Neeson, his estranged wife, her new husband, and his now grown daughter, who though just-turned 17 is still 12 years old in Neeson’s mind. That’s because he spent most of her childhood working for the government as a “preventer”, an occupation I assume involves a lot of phone calls from Dick Cheney with some casual waterboarding on the side. There’s a laughable barbecue scene with friends from the “Agency”, which exists mainly to show you how reluctant Neeson’s character is to get back into the life. There’s also a subplot with a Britney Spears-type singer Neeson has to protect at a concert. These distractions eat up about twenty minutes, but then the main objective of this movie kicks in: get Neeson to Europe so he can commence to stomping…and stomp he does. Good guy or bad guy, casual acquaintance or old friend, no one is safe from the Bushmills hangover Liam is dealing out in pursuit of his daughter. Imagine if the Lucky Charms leprechaun REALLY wanted his Lucky Charms back, and was willing to do absolutely anything to anyone to get them. That’s “Taken”. Did it live up to the trailer? I’ll have to say no. However, if you like the idea of an Irishman with huge hands going “Terminator” on an entire city, there’s really only one movie to see this week…and it isn’t “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”.