Movie Review: There are no Liam Neeson heroics in the fact-based hostage drama 24 Days

In the Taken films, Liam Neeson works alone, and gets shit done: The series is a gung-ho fantasy of a vigilante outpacing the authorities in the search for wrongfully imprisoned innocents. By contrast, the French docudrama 24 Days, about a young man who is taken and held for ransom, takes place in the real world; scrupulously based on a real-life kidnapping, it plays out in a considerably less triumphal vein. The film is adapted from a memoir by Ruth Halimi, whose 23-year old son Ilan was snatched and sequestered in Paris in 2006 by an international group calling itself the “Gang Of Barbarians.” The implication of her book is that Ilan was targeted for being Jewish, and that the local police’s arguable mishandling of the case and its aftermath were similarly connected to—if not necessarily representative of—anti-Semitic attitudes in a country with a deeply entrenched history of …

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