"Taken 2," October 5th (Fox):
Sequels are nearly on par with death and taxes these days, particularly when it comes to action-thrillers.
After "Taken" turned into somewhat of a phenomenon in 2009, you knew it wouldn't be too long until Liam Neeson was back in ultimate tough guy mode, and the new trailer for "Taken 2" looks to have more of the same.
After having his daughter kidnapped in the original "Taken," Neeson's Bryan Mills now must fight off a revenge-seeking criminal kingpin, giving him plenty of opportunities to show his hand-to-hand combat skills and MacGyver-level problem solving.
But even with a fairly simple good guy vs. bad guy plot setup, it can still work with the right villain. Taking a page from action franchises of the 80s and 90s, veteran actor Rade Serbedzija takes up bad guy duties, bringing a thick foreign accent and a megalomaniac attitude reminiscent of "Die Hard" or "Lethal Weapon."
Though the trailer for "Taken 2" doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel, it does promise every bit as much slick action as the first one. We'll have to wait and see if the filmmakers can come up with enough new tricks to keep the franchise going.
The trailer for "Taken 2" can be viewed at the movie's official site.
Box office potential:
On a budget of just $25 million and an unpromising January release, "Taken" didn't look like the type of movie that would turn into a sensation.
But with the advantage of a controversial PG-13 rating and plenty of positive word-of-mouth, "Taken" took over the box office in the dead winter months in 2009, helping it rack up $145 million domestically and $226 million worldwide.
Star Liam Neeson is very well respected in tough guy action roles, and his popularity should combine with a large built-in audience to make "Taken 2" another big hit.
The outlook could change dramatically if "Taken 2" is slapped with an R-rating, but an $80 million production budget suggests that Fox will be aiming for PG-13.
"Taken 2" probably won't pull in $145 million domestically like the original did, but another strong worldwide total is likely.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org