Taken (a film series) starring Liam Neeson

"The Taken" film series is a gripping action-thriller franchise that gained immense popularity for its intense narrative, relentless action sequences, and the iconic performance of its lead actor, Liam Neeson. The series revolves around Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative with a "particular set of skills" who embarks on a relentless quest to rescue his family members from various criminal organizations. To explore the history and development of the "Taken" series, we must delve into its inception, the creative minds behind it, its impact on the action genre, and the evolution of the storyline across multiple films.

Inception and Development (2008-2009):

1. **Screenplay Origins:**

The "Taken" series was conceived by French screenwriter and producer Luc Besson. The original screenplay, co-written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, was inspired by real-life events and experiences. Besson, known for his work in the action genre, drew from his encounters and those of his friends who had worked in intelligence and security.

2. **Casting of Liam Neeson:**

One of the pivotal elements contributing to the success of "Taken" was the casting of Liam Neeson as the lead character, Bryan Mills. Neeson, primarily known for his dramatic roles, brought a unique intensity and gravitas to the character, redefining his career as an action star. Neeson's authoritative presence and emotional depth resonated with audiences, making Bryan Mills an iconic action hero.

"Taken" (2008):

1. **Plot Summary:**

Directed by Pierre Morel, the first film introduces Bryan Mills as a retired CIA operative whose estranged daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), is kidnapped while vacationing in Paris. Mills unleashes his lethal skills to track down the kidnappers and rescue his daughter. The film is characterized by its fast-paced action sequences, gritty realism, and Neeson's memorable line, "I will find you, and I will kill you."

2. **Critical and Commercial Success:**

"Taken" exceeded expectations, becoming a global box office hit and receiving positive reviews for its relentless pace, Neeson's performance, and the straightforward yet engaging plot. The film's success revitalized the action genre and established Neeson as a bankable action star, paving the way for the subsequent films in the series.


"Taken 2" (2012):

1. **Continuation of the Story:**

Olivier Megaton directed the sequel, which explores the consequences of Bryan Mills' actions in the first film. This time, Mills and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), are abducted by the vengeful relatives of the kidnappers Mills killed in the previous installment. The narrative takes the characters to Istanbul, adding a new dimension to the series.

2. **Evolution of the Franchise:**

While "Taken 2" received mixed reviews compared to its predecessor, it continued the franchise's success at the box office. The film further developed Bryan Mills' character and showcased his resourcefulness as he navigates a complex situation. The sequel reinforced the formula of intense action and personal stakes that had become synonymous with the "Taken" brand.


"Taken 3" (2014):

1. **Trilogy Conclusion:**

Directed by Olivier Megaton, the third installment marks the conclusion of the trilogy. The plot takes a different turn, with Mills being framed for the murder of his ex-wife. Mills becomes a fugitive, using his skills to clear his name and protect his daughter. The film explores more of Mills' personal life, adding depth to the character.

2. **Divergent Critical Reception:**

"Taken 3" received mixed reviews, with some praising the action sequences while others criticized the departure from the kidnapping theme. Despite the mixed critical reception, the film performed well at the box office, concluding the trilogy on a commercially successful note.


Legacy and Impact:

1. **Action Genre Resurgence:**

The "Taken" series played a significant role in revitalizing the action genre, particularly with older actors taking on lead roles. Neeson's portrayal of Bryan Mills paved the way for similar roles in subsequent films, influencing a trend of mature actors becoming action stars.

2. **Cultural Impact:**

The series left an indelible mark on popular culture, with Bryan Mills' famous monologue and the iconic phone conversation being widely parodied and referenced in various media. The character became a symbol of relentless determination and the lengths a parent would go to protect their family.



The "Taken" film series, from its inception in 2008 to its conclusion in 2014, marked a significant chapter in the evolution of the action genre. Luc Besson's original concept, coupled with Liam Neeson's powerful performance, created a formula that resonated with audiences globally. Despite varying critical receptions for each installment, the series became a cultural phenomenon, leaving a lasting legacy on both action cinema and the broader entertainment landscape. The "particular set of skills" that Bryan Mills brought to the screen transformed a retired CIA operative into an enduring symbol of determination and justice in the face of adversity.

Heavy Rock - Jan 28, 2024, 11:35 PM - Add Reply


You must be logged in to post a comment.

You must be logged in to post a comment.