'Taken 3' - Liam Neeson Says No, But Can It Still Happen?Christopher Campbell |
The fictional family at the center of the ‘Taken’ movies joins the Freelings (‘Poltergeist’), the Brodys (‘Jaws’), the Connors (‘The Terminator’) and the McClanes (‘Die Hard’) as those which will never be free of their respective threats. Sharks and Grubers and robot assassins and cult leader ghosts just don’t rest as long as their and Hollywood’s objectives remain unfulfilled, and the same goes for the vengeful Albanians who will just keep coming after Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his ex-wife and daughter (Famke Jansen and Maggie Grace) until they’re satisfied.
But will there be a ‘Taken 3’ to depict the next step in this ongoing family feud, which we saw in ‘Taken 2’ is focused primarily between the Millses and the clan of kidnapping kingpin Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija)?
There’s definitely some hint of more family members retaliating in the latest installment. But as we heard a couple weeks ago, Neeson seemed pretty certain that there wouldn’t be another sequel, confessing “I can’t see a possible scenario where audiences wouldn’t go, ‘Oh, come on…! She’s taken again?’”
Yeah, and people said that already with the second film, and that just opened in the U.S. to $50 million, more than twice what the original started out with. Whether Neeson thinks it’s a good idea or not, there will be another installment and maybe another and possibly even more. Maybe he won’t be back. Maybe he could be explained away as having died of a heart attack between films, a la Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) in the Jaws series.
His demise wouldn’t stop the Krasniqis from coming after the others any more than Brody’s death kept the voodoo-influenced great whites at bay (never see ‘Jaws: The Revenge,’ but do have a laugh with the novelization). If anything, Murad’s sons would probably hear of how Kim Mills had a good part in the deaths of all the men in Istanbul, including their father, and was in fact the root of this drama from the beginning by allowing herself to be taken in the first place. They’re probably even the sort of misogynistic group that believes it’s a girl’s own fault when she’s abducted and sold into sex slavery.
Even though we all love watching Neeson punch people to death -- though preferably not in anticlimactic extreme close-up shots as the incompetent ‘Taken 2’ director, Olivier Megaton, gives us -- if he didn’t return, it might be interesting to see Grace take over the series with ‘Taken 3’ or later (Neeson agrees too).These films do come from writer/producer Luc Besson, who once had a great handle on action heroines with ‘La Femme Nikita’ and ‘The Fifth Element’ (not to mention that sequel to ‘The Professional’ he owes to his fans before he dies). Grace got more of a taste of the action earlier this year in the Besson-scripted sci-fi movie ‘Lockout,’ and since her role in ‘Taken 2’ is already more kick ass than in the first film, we could see the character getting stronger and more involved in future installments.
That doesn’t have to mean she’s the action star of the next sequel, though. Kim could just find herself kidnapped again, possibly while she’s on tour. Because they have to bring back the fact that she’s an aspiring singer -- and by ‘Taken 3’ could be a successful recording artist. Besson could rip off the plot of ‘Streets of Fire’ or look to a recent news story about an Australian singer who was kidnapped in the Ecuadorian Amazon and then rescued by at least 100 soldiers. Say that Bryan is no longer in the picture and his old CIA buddies, including those played by D.B. Sweeney and Jon Gries) and maybe even her boyfriend (Luke Grimes), are part of an ensemble recovery next time around.
Not enough like a ‘Taken’ movie? Well, do you want sequels that exactly copy the plot of the original or do you want sequels that expand on the series’ world and go to new places? One thing that could still be consistent is the number of kidnappees. In ‘Taken,’ Kim is the only family member. In ‘Taken 2’ the bad guys have taken two, namely Bryan and his ex. Therefore in ‘Taken 3’ there has to be three people abducted -- maybe Grace, Janssen and Grime. This will be very fun by ‘Taken 10’ when, by name, it will have to be a full-on hostage situation during a family reunion.