In “Taken,” the 2008 French thriller produced by Luc Besson and directed by Pierre Morel, unlikely action-star Liam Neeson played Bryan Mills, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative, who sets about tracking down his daughter (Maggie Grace) after she is kidnapped by human traffickers while traveling in France. The picture has truly been a turning point in Neeson’s career, redefining the actor as a successful action film star.
In “Taken 2,” set for release later this year, still produced by Besson, but this time directed by another underling, Oliver Megaton, the same retired CIA operative (Neeson) and his wife (Famke Janssen) are taken hostage by the father (Rade Serbedzija) of one of the kidnappers Mills killed while rescuing his daughter in the first film. It’s essentially a revenge movie and now Bryan has to rely on his daughter to help them get out.
OK, so no one ever said these “Taken” films were very original or worked from very complicated scripts, fair enough. A domestic trailer has arrived and it’s not very different from the international trailers we’ve seen thus far, but we assume the entire picture isn’t going to be radically different either. We’re sure the motto here is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, though they may be taking that too much to heart if these trailers are any indication. Still, there’s an audience out there for these films, we may just not be the bullseye. Or the target. Or within the same shooting range. “Taken 2” arrives in theaters on October 5, 2012.