TRAILER: On The Brilliant Potential of Taken 2

Taken 2 trailer

In 2008's B-movie hit Taken, Liam Neeson cracked skulls across Europe in search of his kidnapped daughter. In October's Taken 2, director Olivier Megaton and producer/co-writer Luc Besson set out to achieve something rare — An actual continuation of story! Multi-film character development! Unexpected moral examinations! — a proper sequel, in other words, as evidenced by the first trailer viewable after the jump.

The concept for Taken 2 was already promising on paper: The daughter Neeson saved in the first movie (Maggie Grace) must now help save her parents from the vengeance-seeking gangster father (Rade Šerbedžija) of the baddies Neeson murdered in his fatherly rage. The film's new trailer delivers on this front, demonstrating what few sequels or reboots or re-jiggered whatchamacalits these days bother to do properly: Expand on their predecessors in new and interesting ways.

Neeson's ex-operative Bryan Mills seems to be the same guy he was in Taken, but the plot turns his righteous actions in the first film on their head; another father out there is mourning, and wants bloody revenge. Who's to say Šerbedžija's paternal pain doesn't warrant its own reckoning? Is this a mindless action sequel or a meditation on the cycle of vengeance and a parent's drive to protect their children at any moral cost?

Meanwhile, Grace (whom Besson attempted to turn into an action star earlier this year in the Guy Pearce vehicle Lockout) has the opportunity to morph her victimized daughter character into a heroine. Look at the way she leaps over rooftops like a lady Jason Bourne! Turning Kim into an action hero not only makes up for how wimpy and naive she seemed (a perception magnified by my residual resentment of Grace's turn as the useless Shannon on LOST, I'll admit), it could turn Taken into a bona fide franchise instead of, as too many hit films become, a series of diminishing, direct-to-DVD quality returns featuring declining marquee actors/C-listers/WWE stars.

And we haven't even seen the fighting potential of ex-wife (and now-kidnap victim) Lenore, though the lethal potential of Famke Janssen's thighs is a historically documented cinematic fact.

Taken 2 is set for release on October 5. Let's hope it lives up to the potential. Thoughts?


  • I love "Taken" so much, I cannot see it enough times. It is so immensely satisfying to see Neeson be vindicated and validated at every turn, by the exwife who initially has scorn and hatred for him, the daughter who initially considers dad to be a side dish in her life, the ex boss who thinks little of Neeson in the beginning, the criminals who think he is a hapless idiot. I think every one of us feels that rush of emotion from this movie for all the times we have been ignored, passed over and the like.

  • lll says:

    I LOVE TAKEN, Liam Neeson is my favorite actor, ever since i walked out of the movie theater for the first "taken" i have been waiting. PLEASE RELEASE THE SECOND ONE ASAP

    • Jake says:

      Sounds like you'd also like the Evian bottle he's carrying around with him.

      (For those of you who get that reference...)

  • Jake says:

    Hmm. Taken was sort of a novelty film. It's was fun to watch, but most of the performances outside of Liam Neeson were pretty weak. It wasn't very original, yet at the time, there were very few decent movies to watch, so it stood out. It had a nice simplicity to it. But I will almost guarantee that this sequel is going to be bad. Here's why:

    From the trailer, it's evident that the plot is almost the same as the previous one. This time, wife and daughter are taken. But otherwise, it's the same. So everything that felt semi-fresh (this isn't the first "father searching for a daughter" movie ever made) with Taken is now going to feel stale. So without the novelty, and with Liam Neeson being a bit overexposed now as an action hero (The Grey was terrible tripe as was that lost identity movie he did with boring old Betty Draper), you are going to feel unsatisfied. Like how heroin addicts always say they are searching for that high they got the first time, there's no way a rehash like this is going to measure up.

    Entered as evidence to support this claim:

    Hangover 2
    Crank 2
    And almost all sequels that are basically the same story a second time.

  • Morgan says:

    I see two-dimensional bad guys and an implausibly gritty hero re-enacting the same drama as the first movie. No new or interesting expansions are evident in this trailer...

  • Marcy Bruner says:

    The film's new trailer delivers on this front, demonstrating what few sequels or reboots or re-jiggered whatchamacalits these days bother to do properly:

  • Morpheus says:

    Fantastico Primo Trailer!

  • ykwii says:

    Great picture.. they put together the perfect cast omg. Good job everything was on point once again good job....

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