- Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Serbedzija, Leland Orser, Luke Grimes, Jon Gries, D.B. Sweeney, Kevork Malikyan, Alain Figlarz, Ali Yildirim, Ergun Kuyucu, Naci Adigüzel, Alex Dawe, Olivier Rabourdin, Murat Tuncelli, Aclan Bates, Melis Erman, Nathan Rippy
- Director: Olivier Megaton
- Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
- Producer: Luc Besson
- Art Direction: Nanci Roberts
- Costume Design: Pamela Lee Incardona
- D.O.P.: Romain Lacourbas
- Editors: Camille Delamarre, Vincent Tabaillon
- Makeup: Myke Michaels
- Music: Nathaniel Mechaly
- Production Design: Sebastien Inizan
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a particular set of skills who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from Albanian kidnappers. When the father of one of the kidnappers swears revenge and takes Bryan and his wife hostage during their family vacation in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape, and uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Istanbul, Turkey
- MPAA Warning: Intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality
- Production Budget: $80 million
- Production Companies: Europa Corp.
- Production Schedule: October 2011 – January 2012
2012 Guide Analysis: "No-one expected much out of the original 2008 action thriller "Taken". Luc Besson and his Europacorp have been producing a modestly budgeted ($20-30 million each) English-language action thriller at a fairly consistent pace over the past decade. Sometimes they broke through with the likes of the "Transporter" sequels and "Hitman", most however never really took off such as "Kiss of the Dragon," "Unleashed" and "Bandidas".
Star Liam Neeson wasn't an action hero at the time, rather he was still in his 'wise mentor' phase with roles in films like "Batman Begins," "Kingdom of Heaven" and "The Chronicles of Narnia" the highlights of an otherwise quiet point. That is probably why he was cast as retired CIA operative Bryan Mills, a man who sets out to track down his daughter after she is kidnapped in France.
What followed was a slow burn hit whose success unfolded across a year's timespan. "Taken" opened in France in 2008 and much of the world in August/September of that year. Reviews were actually pretty good and the box-office was quite strong. Scheduled for the dumping grounds of January in the United States, many thought it wouldn't do well as pirated DVD rips of the film had been floating around online for months.
Didn't matter, in the end this $26 million movie made nine times its budget in world box-office alone - much of it from the U.S. - and lead to Neeson's reinvention as an action hero. Four years on we're finally getting around to a sequel with the key cast back, a substantially bigger budget, and a large international release expected.
Olivier Megaton replaces Pierre Morel in the director's chair, while the few vague storyline details released thus far have the action set in Istanbul where Neeson and his wife are taken hostage by the father of Marko Hoxha, the man whom Bryan left to die in a makeshift electric chair in the first film. It'll open big and make a good deal of money for EuropaCorp, the big question is can the film really justify itself considering the first film is essentially self contained."