Release Date: October 5th, 2012
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Olivier Megaton
Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, and Rade Serbedzija
Plot: Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who stopped at nothing to save his abducted daughter in TAKEN. When he is targeted by a vengeance-seeking crimelord, Bryan must employ his “particular set of skills” to protect his family against an army out to kill them.
Thoughts: When the first Taken came out, I’ll be honest, the trailers hooked me. Liam Neeson uttering “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want…. I have a very particular set of skills…. I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you.” It was that monologue that made the first film an action classic and brought Liam Neeson into a whole new realm of fame. Before Taken, he was best known for Schnidler’s List, but after it he has had a career people kill for.
Only there is something off with the latest trailers for Taken 2, though they are a flashy and beautiful, that same raw feeling, unexpected violence is gone. I suspect this film is going to go the way of The Hangover Part II, wherein the same story is told again but with a slight twist. From what I’ve gathered this film will see a family member of one of the guys killed in film one coming after Bryan Mills (Neeson) and his family for revenge and clearly people are going to be kidnapped and of course people will be killed in Mills’ pursuit to “get his family back.”
Honestly, I’m of the opinion that they should have let this one go and kept Taken as an action gem with no sequel. Unlike the Hangover, where they could have taken it into a new direction but didn’t, it’s hard to see where Taken 2 would go beyond this premise. Revenge. Simple. Sounds appealing but I get the feeling this is going to be the same old, been there before/seen him do that thing. There were early rumors that Maggie Grace, the actress who played the daughter in the first film, would take the hero role but judging from those trailers, that’s likely not going to be the case and that is disappointing. I would have loved to have seen her save her daddy this time and maybe, as a twist, have them team up halfway through the movie to save the mom and other possibly family members (brother? sister? cousin?) as a father and daughter duo. Again, though, that is likely not going to be the case here and again — that’s disappointing.
Will I be seeing this film in theaters? Maybe, if my friends drag me to it. I’ll likely see this on TV or maybe I’ll Netflix or Redbox it down the line. At this point, Taken 2 just does not have the same “must see” factor that the first film had and I’m worried that it is just not as fresh as it could be. My verdict? Wait until the reviews trickle out…