One of Hollywood’s most reliable standbys in the last few years has been The Taken Formula. What is The Taken Formula, you ask? Well, the short version is simply to copy the basic set-up of Taken, the Liam Neeson action picture that turned him into an A-List brawler. But given that Taken was already mimicking several low-grade action pictures starring the industry's Steven Seagals and Chuck Norrises, The Taken Formula is ultimately a bit different.
The ingredients to The Taken Formula are as follows:
-The film must feature a leading man not classically known for being an unbeatable badass, and turning him into an unstoppable fighting machine, preferably one with some sort of black ops background or a sketchy tough-guy origin.
-Somehow, some way, their family must be involved, whether they be kidnapped, or accidentally thrust into the position of helping out.
-The film must occur in an unusual, exotic place to filmgoers.
We’re also rating these films, grading them on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest (Taken) and 1 being the lowest (Taken 2).
3 DAYS TO KILL (2014)What’s It About?: A tough government killer is tasked with finding a deadly terrorist while attempting to spend quality time with his teenage daughter.
Where Does It Happen?: In the exact same Paris where Taken takes place, which is apparently where Parisians just sit and wait for Americans to come by and punch them in the face for information.
Is The Family In Danger?: While mother and daughter find themselves in the middle of a shootout, thankfully no one decides to kidnap anyone.
How Convincing Is He?: Kevin Costner plays the killer, and he spends the film looking old and out-of-shape. When it comes down to hand-to-hand combat, he can take an enemy down with a few blows, but he’d much rather just shoot you. He might throw you in front of a train, though.
How Good Is It?: 8. 3 Days To Kill is from Taken co-creator Luc Besson, so it follows the formula to a tee. If you liked seeing Liam Neeson own fools, you’ll enjoy Costner snarkily telling French students that American football is called "real football."