Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Took myself to the movie on Sunday afternoon.

I've been wanting to see Taken since it first came out, and I seemed to scoot in just before it gets pulled out of the first run theaters. There's nothing like being the only one the theater for a movie.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. It's not going to go down as a classic in cinematic art, but it was a great way to spend a couple of hours, and it got me thinking after the movie was over, so it must have something on the ball.

I'm not going to spoil it for those of you that want to see it, but I'm going to talk about it. I may put a few minor details in this, but I hope I won't ruin it.

Basically, Bryan is the divorced father of a 17 year old girl that he loves dearly. His ex and he don't get along. He's spent years away from home working for the government in some kind of secret organization, but is now retired. His daughter and ex talk him into letting the daughter go to Europe for the summer, where she is kidnapped. He then flies to Paris and proceeds to kill and beat people like the price was about to go up on beatings. One thing I liked is that he didn't get into fist fights with someone and come out unscathed. He left each fight with a new bruise or limp. That's more realistic than watching Stephen Segal beat up people for 2 hours and look like he just stepped out of a shower.

Two things that touched me:

1. At one point in the movie, the daughter and father are discussing the ground rules for her trip to Europe, which are mostly about making sure that Mom and Dad know where she is and who she's with, and checking in with them on a very regular basis. The daughter quips that Mom thinks that Dad is paranoid because of his previous line of work. Dad makes the observation that his work made him aware of how bad the world can be, not paranoid about it.

In a lot of ways, that's how I feel about my outlook on the world. Remember, I was as far from being a badass when I was in the Army as you can get, but since I was 18 I've been in a lot of places and done a lot of things that I either can't or don't want to talk about. I've seen people act badly in slums, mansions, jungles, deserts, and mountains. Basically, I'm aware that no matter where you are, you're only a walk of a few paces away from strangers stripping your naked corpse of anything of value.

I don't walk around expecting that every person I meet will try to hurt me, but I'm aware that any person could. I'm not ready to wall off my family in a compound, but I'm not naive enough that I don't lock my doors and watch who's close to me when I walk down the street.

If you've ever read this piece about sheep and sheepdogs, you'll start to understand my worldview.

2. When Bryan and his ex are disagreeing about the trip to Europe, she throws the fact that he was away from home and not in constant communication during their marriage and his daughter's life in his face. It was a low blow, and it obviously affected the father character.

Been there, done that. My first wife said almost the same thing a lot during the last year of our marriage.

Sometimes a person, be they a soldier, policeman, or whatever, needs to make a choice between the duty they signed up when they started their profession and staying home with their family. Until very recently, being deployed meant your communications to and from home were the same as they were in World War I: snail mail. Occasionally, you might be able to make a call home, but that was unpredictable and infrequent.

Luckily, it appears that has gotten better. With VOIP, email, and chat, communications with home are better for those away from home. But you're still not physically there. I spent the majority of Junior Bear's first few years away from home, and I know he and I missed out on a lot of things. But sometimes things that we don't want to do have to happen. People who get bitter about these things fail to take joy from the time they have with their loved ones, and focus on the negative of them being away.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
DaddyBear's Den by DaddyBear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at daddybearden.blogspot.com.