The Taken franchise is obviously a big moneymaker, and Liam Neeson’s threatening speech from the first movie became iconic before the film even hit theaters back in 2009. Since we’re firmly entrenched in a “remix culture,” it should come as no surprise that there is a spoof of Taken in development. What might actually surprise you, though, is the fact that now there are two spoofs of Taken in the works.
I covered the first spoof, Tooken, when that announcement came out a couple of months ago. (I’m guessing Key & Peele are still a little peeved that someone else is about to profit from the catch phrase they made popular.) At the time, I was sort of shocked that Tooken wasn’t coming from notorious spoof-makers Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg – the guys behind Epic Movie, Date Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Vampires Suck, The Starving Games, and more – but my surprise is apparently short-lived: Deadline reports that Seltzer & Friedberg are now working on their own spoof of Taken called Who The F#@k Took My Daughter?
There’s big money in Seltzer & Friedberg’s style of filmmaking because these movies are cheap to produce and there is always going to be a generation of kids willing to shell out money to get a cheap laugh at the pop culture figures they recognize being parodied on screen. I have no problem with these types of movies existing, but I really wish they were smarter. These guys are obviously influenced by the Zucker Brothers and Mel Brooks, who were and are genius comedic minds, but the Seltzer/Friedberg films lack the same care and subtlety that defined the earlier generation of spoof films. They just toss in lookalikes of famous people and recycle famous lines from other movies while someone gets kicked in the balls. It’s the worst part of remix culture, and the only way to see some change is to stop paying to see these films when they’re released. Hold them to a higher standard of comedy, and maybe they’ll be forced to rise to it.
Until then, expect more stuff like this to be coming to multiplexes near you.
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