“Taken” was an unexpected hit when it was released in 2008, turning formerly serious actor Liam Neeson into an unlikely action icon and legitimizing (to a degree, at least), French filmmaker Luc Besson‘s place as a kind of Euro-trash Roger Corman. Well, a sequel has finally been shaped, all these years later, and based on the latest “internet trailer” (complete with winky Neeson introduction), it looks like it’s keen to recapture the same junky fun of the original.
In the first movie, Neeson’s daughter, played by “Lost” star Maggie Grace, was taken by Albanian sex traffickers. In the sequel, again co-written and produced by Besson but this time directed by the ridiculously named Olivier Megaton (taking over from Pierre Morel), it looks like the family is back together, but all three are taken hostage, with Neeson’s wife (Famke Janssen) looking like she is taken for the longest. In one sequence in the trailer there’s a weird “Road to Perdition“-style moment where Neeson encourages Grace to drive faster, outrunning a villain’s car, which gets taken down by a passing train. Because if you can’t share hardcore violence with your daughter, what can you share?
There seems to be a lot of revenge in this trailer – Neeson is seeking revenge for his wife and daughter being kidnapped, the Albanians are seeking revenge against the countless bad guys Neeson killed in the first movie (in fact, the first film had to be trimmed in America to secure a PG-13, we can easily see that being the case here too). While we weren’t crazy about Megaton’s last movie, the wishy washy female assassin romp “Columbiana,” we do think that “Taken 2” will probably deliver on the most base level of watching Neeson get all righteous and beat the fuck out of people.
“Taken 2” comes to get you on October 5th.