Views from the Sofa’s 100 Greatest Scenes is a list of the 100 greatest moments in the movies. This could be long introductions, moments of action or great dialogue between characters. The scenes are in no particular order and come from many different types of movies.
There isn’t many scenes that actually transcend the whole movie. Many people know of this scene without knowing much else about the movie itself. The key speech in the scene was even used in the marketing for the movie. It is concise, purposeful and one of the coolest pieces of dialogue in cinema history.
Greatest Scene Number 5: Taken: “I Will Find You and I Will Kill You”
The phone call is only the end of this great scene. It starts slow and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and then the events take a darker turn. It is here that we get to see exactly how cool, calm and collected Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills really is. The way he asks his daughter, played by Maggie Grace, pertinent and key questions while intruders raid her house shows his “particular set of skills” before we are even really aware of them.
In fact, Neeson goes one step further. He balances the desperate concern of a father with the calculated approach of a professional. The moment when Bryan Mills tells his daughter that she will be taken is calm in dialogue but on his face is clear anguish at the thought.
The scene is a double-header too. It isn’t just about the Neeson side of the phone call. The fear in Grace’s quiet whimpers as the intruders surround her bed add that edge of your seat thrill which will accompany Neeson’s character in his search for his daughter. To then add the fake-out and rug-pull of Grace being snatched just makes us root for Bryan Mills even more.
The cornerstone of not just this scene but the whole film is that speech. There isn’t many examples of a speech which summarises not just a character but a whole movie, in less than a minute. Neeson’s delivery is perfect, not shouting, not paced with frantic desperation but calm, gruff, intense and with full meaning. You believe Neeson will find his daughter because of how he delivers his perfectly written lines.
This isn’t necessarily the best part of the scene though. The icing on the cake is the kidnappers response. So far all we have heard is a foreign language and his breathing as Neeson delivers his stark warning. It is then that we get the short, sharp but also as equally threatening response “Good Luck.”
Overall, Liam Neeson’s now iconic speech in Taken is just one part of what makes the kidnapping scene so great. It has fear, desperation and then that awesome monologue to an unknown listener. It sets up Neeson’s character perfectly for the movie and ensures that we are not just rooting for him to succeed but are in no doubt that he definitely will.