Few actors see a career metamorphosis like Liam Neeson. While Neeson has always been regarded as a fantastic actor, no one would have considered him an action star. Then, in 2008, Taken was released and Neeson's career was permanently changed. Since then, the actor has starred in a number of action-heavy films, but the Taken series will always be synonymous with Neeson's name.
What may surprise fans of the franchise is that it was never supposed to be a franchise at all. Taken was supposed to be a one-film deal, but when the movie's popularity exploded, the franchise was born. Now, the series will close with Taken 3, and if the premiere trailer is anything to go by, the finale will be much different than the movies that preceded it.
If there's any one thing to be taken from the Taken 3 trailer, it's that no one is actually taken. The series has always been about escaping or thwarting a hostage situation, but the series finale seems to be taking a different approach.
In fact, the whole trailer is eerily reminiscent of The Fugitive. Yes, there have been many thrillers with the 'framed-for-murder' plot, but Harrison Ford's 1993 thriller is extremely iconic, and the fact that Taken 3 seems to be lifting a majority of the plot from that film is strange to say the least. One has to wonder how Neeson will stack up against Ford's intense performance, or if the film will deviate at all from the formula that the trailer is so determined to show.
Neeson has been working in film for decades now, but it wasn't until his performance in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List that he became a household name. Following a string of high-profile roles in films such as Star Wars Episode I and Gangs of New York, Neeson rebooted his career as an action movie star in 2008 with Taken.
While Taken was a box office success, the series has since fallen from grace. Taken 2 was widely considered to be extremely formulaic and couldn't recapture the same intensity of the first film. With Taken 3, the producers are trying something different in order to re-energize the series, but whether or not Taken 3 is actually worth watching has yet to be seen.
Taken 3 is set to debut on Jan. 9, 2015.