I'm watching Taken (2008) again, and I'm at the infamous "particular set of skills" speech. I just realized he says "...I can tell you I don't have money...".

His wife's new husband is portrayed as an obvious millionaire and this guy just blew the chance that he could get his daughter back by offering them the husband's money.

Can anyone think of any sort of logic or reasoning behind this?

3 Answers 3


Once you admit to having money the kidnappers have a reason to keep her.


"I have a lot of money and a set of -"

"Send it to us or we will kill her"

"hang on, I was saying I have a set of unique -"

"We want 10 million dollars or we kill her tomorrow click - brrrrrr"

"I will find you and I will .... hello - hello?"

*kinappers triple the guard on the hostage who they now know is valuable.

The way he plays it there is no benefit to keeping her and potentially a lot of trouble.

  • 1
    > there is no benefit to keeping her and potentially a lot of trouble Sadly that does not mean that they will cut her loose; they can still make plenty by selling her. Of course Bryan does not necessarily know they will sell her, but even so, she has probably already seen and heard plenty of stuff that could get them caught (especially since he trained her to be observant), so it is easier and in their interests to just kill her and cut their losses and use Kim’s friend instead. Humans suck. :-(
    – Synetech
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 15:02
  • 2
    " Sadly that does not mean that they will cut her loose; they can still make plenty by selling her." Agreed. However, telling them that he has no money at least removes a potential hook, the threat he gives them might also be enough to make them reconsider. As it happens they were not causual thugs but organised professional criminals so this had no real effect. Also they do not know that he has trained her to be observant (to be honest I did not know that).
    – Stefan
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 15:07

This question has been on my mind all day and a few things occurred to me.

Before Bryan said the line, the abductor had been on the phone for several seconds, so if it was a kidnapping, he had plenty of opportunity to demand a ransom. This leaves likely possible scenarios:

  • The abductor is just some petty thug, some muscle hired to do the actual kidnapping, and the guys boss would later contact them to demand a ransom
  • The abduction has nothing to do with ransom, in which case it is likely to be either:
    • Something nasty with rape and murder
    • Kidnapping for use in sex-trafficking

If it is the first case and the guy was just a petty thug, then Bryan’s threat had a small, but decent chance of scaring the guy into abandoning the kidnapping and running away.

If it is not about ransom and it was the first sub case, then Kim was as good as dead by the time that Bryan has a chance to even get to France. In this case, skip to the end.

If it is the second sub case (sex-trafficking), then he knows that even if they treat her like crap, they are going to keep her alive since they don’t usually cater to necrophiliacs. Remember that Bryan is a retired CIA agent so regardless of what department he was in, he has likely learned quite a bit about the sex-trafficking “industry” and how it works. He likely understood that they would be somewhat professional and thus, prefer to just rent her out or sell her than to attempt to arrange a likely-to-fail ransom exchange.

Either way, he had nothing left to lose (his ex-wife is married to another man, he is retired, and now his daughter has been kidnapped). What else is he going to do now, read the Harry Potter books? Of course not; he has nothing to lose and nothing to do anymore, so he may as well spend the rest of his life tracking her down if possible and hunting the kidnappers down and killing them.

No doubt that at the back of his mind, he considered that he may very well never see her again. He is not the type of person to play the victim and just roll over, so he of course he wants to pull a Ransom and fight back.

I agree that warning them was bad. He may be around the world, but by telling them that he’s got skills and connections and is coming for them, he puts them on high-alert, especially with her. However, don’t forget that no matter how well he is trained to contain his emotions, his child was just abducted, so he feels fear and rage and cannot just think through every single angle and action in a couple of seconds.


Yes, there are several different reasons/logic behind it. The main one centering around the fact that they were never grabbing the girls for ransom, they were grabbing them as merchandise for their white slaving ring.

First of all, demanding a ransom means some sort of ongoing contact between the criminals and the families, and probably brings a lot of high-powered law enforcement and even military or intelligence resources into the picture against the kidnappers. Whereas, once you grab the girls to sell on the black market, your exposure to people motivated to stop you is pretty much nil. Since they are selling the girls to very wealthy patrons, with an additional "this is completely illegal" risk-markup, I'm not sure they'd make that much more money trying to ransom them, necessarily, and certainly not on a regular basis, so the apparatus for ransom, unlike their slavery production system, would not be in place and fine-tuned.

They certainly wouldn't make up as much that would warrant the risk of exposing their entire operation that probably churned out dozens, if not hundreds of girls on a regular basis for high prices for a single ransom.

Also take into account that the girls were chosen merely because they were young, western and very attractive. There's nothing about the selection that requires even minimal research into the finances of their families. If you want to reference Man on Fire, companies who have children who would be targets for huge ransom demands can usually afford personal security, which also ups the risk, and also makes the likelihood that the girls chosen as easy marks are probably not of those means. So, again, no reason to have a process in place for that.

Liam Neeson is saying that just to take the option off the table, and to set the stage for them messing with the wrong guy. He wouldn't be stupid enough to think he'd ever see his daughter if they paid a huge ransom (because of the risk involved with further contact and details the daughter would be able to supply to law enforcement - Neeson's hardened character would assume these brutal organized crime thugs would take the money and NOT give the daughter back). Unless one was dealing with an organization that regularly deals with capturing and actually releasing hostages for money, the assumption would be that they won't do it, or that something could go horribly wrong with people who are not seasoned experts in that kind of trade.

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