Everything seems OK in this trailer, the first for Liam Neeson’s upcoming Taken 3. His lethal character, Bryan Mills, is cooking dinner. His wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), checks in. They talk about their daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), and even she’s fine. In other words, no one in the family has been Taken! Yet…
Things change drastically at the 25-second mark, when Bryan Mills (Neeson) spots blood in the hallway of his home. The cops arrive, and he’s accused of murdering… someone in the bed. Oh, man. That Janssen’s character. Now Mills has a murder to solve, so the rest of the trailer shows how the usual hunter now will play the hunted as the story of Taken draws to an eventual close.
The trailer reads like a rap sheet of all of Mills’ special set of skills. He joined the military. He joined Specials Forces. He’s a trained killer. And he knows how to disappear. Forest Whitake takes the Tommy Lee Jones role of the fugitive tracker here, informing his men just how dangerous Mills can be, yet imploring them to take this killing machine on, in the name of justice.
Neeson’s character, on the flip side, has a new adversary – someone who has placed a target on the backs on everyone he knows and loves. Taken 3 will follow Bryan Mills as he fights to protect Kim from danger. And in a chilling bit of voiceover, Whitaker warns him that every law-enforcement agency – the LAPD; the CIA; the FBI – all will do what they can to stand in his way. Neeson’s reply? "Good luck." (A terrific call back to the terrifying phone call in the first Taken film.)
The action in the Taken 3 trailer is spectacular. Taken 2 director Olivier Megaton knows how to move Liam Neeson around an action sequence, and his automobile-insanity skills were brushed up while working on the Transporter franchise with Jason Statham.
Could this be the end of Liam Neeson’s Taken series? It’s totally possible. If we are reaching the stage where main characters are getting killed off, I’m not sure how much longer we can extend the brand. Also, no one will be Taken in this movie. We just get a comfortable, familiar action hero putting a definitive exclamation point on a brutal trilogy, running around sunny Los Angeles trying to squeeze one more adventure out of a loyal fan base. Taken? More like, "Take our money, one last time, Liam Neeson. We are on board."
Taken 3 opens in theaters on January 9, 2015.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.