Liam Neeson has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you — unless you’re a fan of ex-CIA operatives who remain unreasonably badass in their golden years. In that case, Neeson is something of a dream come true.
The Oscar nominee remains in perfectly hardcore form in the first official trailer for “Taken 2,” the sequel to the 2008 action flick that kick-started a surprising new phase in Neeson’s career. Since his turn as former spy Bryan Mills in the Luc Besson-produced thriller, Neeson has become the go-to guy for older-man-kicks-so-much-ass action movies like “The A-Team,” “Unknown” and “The Grey.” But it’s “Taken” that remains the decisive favorite for Neeson fans, and seeing him run around in that particular world once again is the action-movie equivalent of comfort food: a bit familiar, yes, but gloriously so.
Here are five key scenes from the “Taken 2” trailer.
A Job for Boris the Blade
When you need a vaguely Eastern European bad guy to add gravitas to your film, call Rade Serbedzija. With bad-guy credits including “Snatch,” “24,” “X-Men: First Class” and more, he’s the man for the job. In “Taken 2,” he’ll be the one giving Mills hell, concocting an elaborate scheme to get revenge for his son, who was killed by Mills in the first “Taken” film. “He slaughtered our men,” he scowls in the trailer. “Our brothers. Our sons. We will find him. And we will have our revenge.”
Our villain’s vengeance will take him and his men to Istanbul, where Bryan’s ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) pay him a surprise visit. Bad timing, considering the spit-storm headed Mills’ way. But there’s a silver lining: Bryan’s relationship with his daughter seems much smoother than ever before, and it even looks like he might have another shot at love with Lenore … assuming they survive their next ordeal.
Phoning It In
The “Taken 2” trailer is fantastically familiar, even if the tables are somewhat reversed this time: It’s not Kim being taken, but Lenore and Mills himself. When he gets on the phone to once again instruct Kim on what to do next, his directions are different, but the tone remains the same. With Mills and Lenore at the mercy of terrorists, it’s going to be a whole new ball game in “Taken 2,” their lives depending heavily on help from …
Traditionally the character who mucks everything up for her surrounding cast (see “Lockout,” “Breaking Dawn,” “Lost” and so many more), Maggie Grace will finally get her opportunity to shine as a bona fide badass in “Taken 2.” She’s seen in the trailer jumping from rooftops and facing down guns with (almost) no tears, a marked improvement from the Kim of the last “Taken.” But as she told MTV News just a few weeks ago, Kim is “empowered … [but] she doesn’t morph into La Femme Nikita.” So temper your expectations just a little bit.
“You’ll Just Have To Die”
Frankly, Kim doesn’t really need to step up her game. Even if he’s captured early on in the film, Neeson’s ex-spook won’t be sitting on the sidelines throughout the proceedings, as the trailer clearly illustrates. He spends the final few seconds of the trailer breaking necks, shooting thugs and making explicit death threats over cell phones, as he’s wont to do. Old dog, same tricks — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tell us what you think of the new “Taken 2” trailer in the comments section below!