Why Are We So Taken?

Posted: October 5, 2012 by jperritt in Action, Drama, Thriller
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As I mentioned yesterday, sequels should resonate with us because we long for good stories to keep going. We were designed for eternity, therefore, we don’t like having an end to anything. However, as I also mentioned yesterday, I am somewhat surprised that Taken is having a sequel.

As I said, I enjoyed Taken. The film resonated with me on a surprising level, however, it had a made-for-tv-movie feel to it. Yes, Liam Neeson was in it, which goes against the whole made-for-tv thing, but the plot and production seemed like it could have been weekday miniseries-ish.

The first Taken was made for $25 million dollars and brought in over $226 million dollars. I don’t know about you, but that’s quite a return on their dollar hence, a sequel. Whether people liked the film or not, they went and saw it. That’s quite a bit of people who went and saw this film but why? Why would this film resonate with so many people?

Let’s consider some of the themes from the first film, which will most likely be in this next installment.

Gritty Realism

The first film had a realism that was pretty profound. Most people, Christians especially, can forget we live in a fallen world. Yes we know we are sinners and live in a fallen world, but we tend to isolate ourselves and forget that sexual abuse is rampant in our culture. Women are sold as prostitutes daily and what are we doing about it? How can we, who are made in the image of God, allow this injustice to endure? The film did not tone down the depravity of man and I think that was captivating. It was rough, but rightly so. Christians should applaud accurate portrayals of sin.

Fatherly Protection

Probably the most obvious theme that resonated with audiences was a father fighting for his child (Finding Nemo cashed in on this too). I still love the line by Liam Neeson as he threatens his daughter’s captors, “I don’t know who you are, but if you don’t let my daughter go, I will find you and I will kill you.” The sheer confidence and determination Bryan Mills (Neeson) possessed to fight for his daughter should make us stand up and applaud. Most fathers, I assume, have had the thought of someone breaking into their home and having to defend their family. Most fathers (if you’re like me) have also imagined turning into Bryan Mills and cleaning house like we saw in Taken.

Wrath

Not only did Taken provide us with a realistic notion of sin, but also wrath. Stevie Ray Vaughn sings a song entitled, Pride and Joy, in which he sings about his true love. In one line he states, “You mess with her, you see a man get mean.” This is so true. Using the premise from Taken, if any of our loved-ones was abducted, you would see a lot of nice men get mean. I have said before, if anyone put my family in harms way, you would need an army to bring me down. Wrath is something we can identify with and Taken showed us a father full of wrath.

Revenge

We know the Scriptures tell us that vengeance is the Lords, but this is why revenge strikes a chord with us. The enemies have caused Mills pain and we see him visiting each one individually, giving it back to them. I have reflected on the make-shift electric chair scene of the first film thinking of the verse, “leave room for God’s wrath”. This reminds me that our revenge is no where close to the degree and severity of God’s vengeance.

Justice

This goes along with the above, but differs slightly. Justice is wanting to make things right. A man’s daughter is taken from him and we long to see him have her returned. Not only do those guilty men get their wrongs made right, but the daughter is also restored.

Safety

Even though we took a tour through some of the most depraved parts of this earth in Taken, I knew everything was going to be alright. Mills’ specific set of skills made me feel like his daughter was going to be safe. Isn’t that how most fathers are? Yes, sadly, there are abusive fathers, but fathers are intended to provide safety and refuge and the audience just knew this father was going to restore that safety to his daughter.

Love

Yes wrath, vengeance, safety, and justice are all themes that should resonate with us, but they all stem from love. Wrath and vengeance may seem like polar opposites from love, but these actually stem from it. Why does Bryan Mills torture drug dealers and karate chop corruption? Because he loves his daughter. This is where people misunderstand God’s love. God’s love is often seen in Scripture through wrath and revenge, but it stems from his love for his people. For this reason, Christians must not be afraid to speak of God’s wrath.

I’m sure Taken 2 will be more of the same, but be sure and watch the film with these themes highlighted through Scripture.

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