taken

TAKEN series premiere review, ug!After watching the series premiere episode of Taken on NBC, I have to say that it left me feeling a bit hollow inside. Not to mention that the first episode pretty much set off all my “premiere warning bells,” during that premiere episode.

The premise is:

A young Bryan Mills (played by Clive Standen) must fight to overcome personal tragedy and exact revenge on those responsible in this modern-day origin story behind the “Taken” film trilogy. Still reeling from his devastating loss, Mills is quickly recruited by the leader of a covert CIA operation to work on her team – a job that awakens a very particular — and very dangerous — set of skills in the former Green Beret.

The film series, Taken, on Amazon.

I’m not sure who thought this would be a good idea, because I wasn’t sure about the idea of taking a premise like the origins story of Bryan Mills and putting it to paper. Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was a good idea. The creative team behind the show had the entire world available to them. But then they seemed to totally miss the mark for me.

First things first… the series starts out this Mills sister getting killed in a botched attempt to stop bad guys by Mills. Except the bad guys he stopped weren’t even the guys that killed her on the train.

But then the bad guys are caught and all is said and done.

Except suddenly we have, I can’t count, how many covert organizations pursuing Mills from out of nowhere and he seems to be ready for them. Except that in his scuffles with the bad guys, it’s not the same Bryan Mills we saw in the Taken films. This is the punching bag Bryan Mills edition.

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'Taken 2' movie review

Taken 2 stars pretty much the same cast as 2008’s Taken, with Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser reprising their roles.  New blood in the mix is Rade Serbedzija, the patriarch of a group of guys that Bryan (Neeson) killed while in pursuit of his kidnapped daughter in the first Taken movie.

It’s directed by Olivier Megaton and produced/written by Luc Besson.

As far as action films go, director Magaton (No, not Megatron) has experience with films like Colombiana and Transporter 3.  Luc Besson returns as the producer writer for the sequel.

So there’s experience in action direction, and continuity in the character writing.

With that said, Taken 2 takes place some time after the first abduction attempt on Bryan’s daughter.  But we open, watching a funeral for four of the thugs, with Murad Krasniqi (Sherbedgia) swearing revenge upon Bryan for these deaths of his family members.

Never mind that they were kidnappers of young girls.

Famke Janssen and Liam Neeson in Taken 2

We then get reintroduced to Bryan, Kim (Grace) and Lenore’s (Janssen) life.  Kim is trying to pass her driving test and has a boyfriend.  Lenore just split up with her hubby and dad, whom we learn is a bit OCD, is trying to play the role of cool, involved dad.

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