Taken 2 is one of the worst mainstream action movies I’ve ever seen. If creativity or talent had anything to do with box office numbers, director Olivier Megaton – who butchered the once-promising Transporter series with his franchise-ending third entry – would never work in the industry again. But sadly, Taken 2 made $376 million worldwide, which is over $100 million more than its predecessor. So of course, another sequel is on the way.
Deadline reports that Liam Neeson is in final negotiations to return as Bryan Mills, and the star will get a pay bump from the $15 mil he earned for Taken 2 to $20 million for this third attempt. Neeson, who wasn’t thrilled about coming back for the second movie, addressed how ridiculous a third film would be during Taken 2‘s press rounds, going as far as to say, “I don’t think it’s going to happen. I can’t see a possible scenario where audiences wouldn’t go, ‘Oh, come on…! She’s taken again?’”
But it seems like all that cash has changed his mind. I can’t say I blame Neeson for taking the payday (especially when Downey is pulling in absurd checks like the $50 mil he got for The Avengers), but it just makes me so sad to watch a project like this come together when all parties involved are so clearly in it only for the money. Writers Robert Mark Kamen and Luc Besson have said they’re going to switch up the direction of the story for the third one, so theoretically it has a chance to be vaguely interesting this time around, but they’re probably looking at a case of The Hangover syndrome: the first was a big hit, the second – which was essentially a copy of the first one – didn’t do as well, and the third one suffered from audience fatigue.
Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen haven’t signed on yet, and no director has been hired yet, but rumor has it Megaton could be back in the hot seat once again. If they’re going to make this movie at all – I wish they wouldn’t, but whatever – for the love of God, don’t let Megaton anywhere near it. Give the helm back to original director Pierre Morel and see if he can recreate some of the magic of the first movie.
Thoughts? Am I being too hard on this franchise? Are you excited for a Taken 3?
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