Back in the olden times, it was surprising that a hyper-violent action movie starring that guy from ‘Schindler’s List’ could open to huge box office and become one of the biggest hits of the year. But this is 2015, and it’s a little less surprising when a Liam Neeson action movie opens big. ‘Taken 3’ may not have matched the opening weekend of ‘Taken 2,’ but it’s off to a strong start.
Liam Neeson’s career can be divided into two distinct eras: Before ‘Taken’ (BT) and After ‘Taken.’ When that Luc Besson thriller became a surprise smash in 2008—earning more than $225 million worldwide against a $25 million budget—it launched a whole ‘Taken’ franchise (the third film, ‘Taken 3: Taken It to the Streets,’ opens today) and turned Neeson into one of Hollywood’s most improbable action heroes at the age of 55.
The former CIA operative turned full-time rescuer of his perpetually kidnapped family at the center of the ‘Taken’ series is famous for—as he put it to the men who took his daughter in the first film—a “particular set of skills” that make him “a nightmare” for bad guys. Here now is a partial list of the particular skills Bryan Mills—played by the 62-year-old Liam Neeson—displays in ‘Taken 3’:
Despite Sylvester Stallone’s valiant attempts to prove otherwise with 1987’s ‘Over the Top,’ arm wrestling is sort of hard to make exciting for spectators. On last night’s ‘Tonight Show,’ host Jimmy Fallon and guest Liam Neeson decided to give that whole "make this sorta sport fun for the people" thing a go. It got weird.
The 'Taken' films have been a blessing and a curse for star Liam Neeson. Sure, he's found great success in his newfound career as an aging action hero, but the days of Neeson being a completely respectable presence in prestige films seem to have come to an end. So the 'Taken 3' trailer fills us with mixed feelings. We'd love to see Neeson doing something else, but man, he sure is good at killing people.
It looks like the brains behind the marketing for ‘Taken 3' are keeping things pretty self-aware and silly in their latest preview for the film, which counts down protagonist Bryan Mills’ “12 Skills of Christmas.” There’s uppercuts, dead thugs, roundhouse kicks, face-smashing, and so much more in this delightfully wacky video, which celebrates Liam Neeson’s very particular set of skills.
If you can't even believe there will a 'Taken 3,' the first photos have debuted to prove that, yes, it's happening. But don't worry, guys. Liam Neeson assures us there will be no mayhem abroad in 'Taken 3' ... he's just going on the run this time.
Although 'Taken 2' didn't live up to the glorious, trashy heights of the first film, its absurd box office meant that a 'Taken 3' was inevitable. Now, the gears are officially in motion. A director is attached, Liam Neeson is returning and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is reportedly being sought for a mysterious role.
When 'Taken 2' was released, Liam Neeson spent a lot of time saying that he wasn't up for a third film as he felt another kidnapping incident that could lead to a sequel would be too ridiculous. But money changes everything -- Neeson was just offered a ridiculous sum to return and now 'Taken 3' is a go.
How many times can someone get taken before Liam Neeson is like, "I'm tired. Just sort this mess out amongst yourselves"? Maybe the third time's the charm -- at least that's what we're hearing from the writer of 'Taken 2' in a new interview.