Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Fathers Love And Human Trafficking: A Review Of TAKEN

So I have shown a ton of movies to teens over the years, and usually I try and keep them fairly clean, with somewhat of a message, but what I am suggesting here is something I never would have done before, it is a little radical but if you are willing to take a little risk in showing a violent movie to teens (cause we all know teens hate violence) , then I have rarely seen a better movie that looks at a fathers love and human trafficking then TAKEN

Plot: TAKEN is about a father who is trying desperately to reconnect with his daug
hter after years of missing big chunks of her life. His ex-wife, her mother, does pretty much everything she can to make this difficult, and when his newly turned 17 year old daughter is invited to Paris for the summer, they guilt dad into agreeing to let her go with the conditions that she call when she arrives, and every night, and lets him know where she is staying. So, cut to Paris, and his daughter and her friend aren't there for 5 minutes before they are abducted. It is at this point we find out that Daddy is not just anybody, but a retired government spook type that tells the kidnappers to give her back or he is coming to kill them, they say, "Good Luck!" and it gets incredibly violent from there.

Main Themes: As the title of this post suggests, TAKEN, although violent, is a great movie example of how much a father can love his daughter. As the movie starts it is revealed that Liam Neeson's character Bryan Mills has gone to great lengths to be closer to his daughter. He has retired from his job and moved to Los Angels, given up most of his social ties, and is willing to put up with his ex-wife and her super rich new husband, and all that is before his daughter is, well, taken. After that he flies to Paris and puts his "very particular skill set" to use (more on that later). Now, as for the daughter, after she is "taken" she doesn't show up again till the end of the movie, but you do find out what happens to her and the countless other girls that get kidnapped and put into human trafficking. The basic run down is that once they are kidnapped they are first pumped full of drugs to get them addicted and compliant, after that they are farmed out to places around Paris to be used as prostitutes and sex slaves. As for Maggie Grace's character Kim Mills, she is special for several reasons. 1. She is American 2. She is pretty, and most importantly, 3. She is a virgin, and that last one makes her more then just a girl to be farmed out to the locals, instead she is placed on the auction block at a fancy rich persons private estate. It is later revealed that after being bought should would have become the property of a very rotund Sheik (yeah, I am calling him fat, but he is super rich, so people with that much money are rotund, or possibly big boned, but never fat, go figure) to do with as he pleases, and I think it is safe to assume that he doesn't just want to be friends.

Theological Discussion Points
Ok, here is where this movie becomes a bit of a hard selling point to show to teens, the violence level. Now, the funny thing is, most kids by the time they have reached the teenage years will have watched plenty of movies that are as violent, or in many cases, more violent then TAKEN, heck, many parents watch said violent movies with their kids, so you may be asking, what is the big deal if a youth leader shows it when they could also use it as a God talk segway? Well, in my experience, parents seem to think it is OK for them to show this type of violence, but for a "Church" to show it, it is bad, so, WARNING, WARNING, DANGER WILL ROBINSON (OR YOUTH LEADER / PASTOR TYPE PERSON), DANGER. I am recommending this movie, but make sure the parents know that you are watching it, what is in it and why it is worth showing, or you might be getting some angry phone calls/email or visits. So now with that said, why is it worth watching? Here are some thoughts that come to mind.

Bryan Mills loves his daughter so much that he is willing to go to extremes to make sure she is rescued. He does some terrible things along the way, including punching, kicking, breaking bones, shooting, wounding and killing, and in one case, using two long nails and electricity together to get some answers about his daughters whereabouts. Are these things bad, sure, would you want your kids doing them, nope, but if I am being completely honest, I would do the same. You see, I have two daughters, and if I was in Bryan Mills place, where doing all these terrible things would save my daughters from a life as sex slaves, then I would not hesitate to do this and more. So how is this a God segway you may ask, well.

Bryan Mills would do anything to save his daughter, as most parents would, yet lets look at God, he actually did the opposite. God, who loves on such a deeper level then we do, took his greatest treasure, his Son, and instead of making sure he was safe, decided to place Jesus in the middle of chaos, to be mocked, beaten and killed in one of the worst ways possible. But why? Bryan Mills was being a good father, he was doing the right thing trying to save his daughter (sure, he was breaking laws, God's and Man, but so were the people he was hurting, and his goal was pure, right) yet God does the complete opposite, yet for the same reason, love. For God so loved the world that he yada yada yada, you know how it goes, well, it is true. God is a Father, just like Bryan Mills is a father, yet one killed many to save the one he loves, and the other allowed the one he loves to be killed for the many, which often ignore and mock him. If this is not a chance for you and your youth to talk about God and love and sacrifice and all those other important things in life, then I don't know what is.

Ok, so you have the love angle, then you can talk about the moral angle of turn the other cheek, love thou enemy, an eye for an eye and many more that you smarter people can come up with, go nuts, heck, I bet your teens will come up with some awesome stuff too, who knows, it could happen!

Lastly, you could have a great talk about human trafficking. As I write this and you read this, someone has become a sex slave, I am not kidding. This is a real and terrible evil in the world, and not enough people are talking about. Now, for many reasons, one of which is that this post has already gone on too long and another one being I am lazy, I will not put a whole lot of statistics with this, there are many websites that do a great job of giving info on the topic, so go find them, or better yet, make your teens go find them, cause good leadership is all about making others do your work, or "DELEGATING" as some of you call it.

So, that's all I got, TAKEN or leave it, ha ha, see what I just did there, I put the name of the movie and a familiar saying together to make awesomeness at the end of my post. I know, I know, that was terrible, but Jesus and his Dad blessed me with the funny genius gene, so what are you going to do? I'm sure he gave you awesome gifts too, being one body and all, so until next time, stay "insert cool sign off phrase here", and all Gods people said, beg your pardon?

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