Ever since Brian Mills presented his particular set of skills, Liam Neeson has been transformed into an action star. Something that has been lacking recently, with only Jason Statham single handily filling the void. Who would have thought it? Neeson, now in his 60’s, is now the go to guy if you want ruthless bad-ass who takes no prisoners. When Taken was surprise hit at the box office, it was inevitable that a sequel was forthcoming in Taken 2. Why they haven’t called it something else like Taken Again or Taking Lives : Mills’ Wrath, I don’t know. But as we’re set for old Liam to save his dumb-ass sprog yet again, it got me thinking that, haven’t we seen this before? A former marine, kills countless bad guys on a mission to get his daughter back. Does that sound familiar?
Think about it. Is Liam Neeson the modern day equivalent of Arnie? Though I doubt he has his mussels, he does fill the role of that one man killing machine that Schwarzenegger conveyed in the 80’s. You may think that the link between the two is tangible, however the two action classics differences lay in the time they where made. Commando is definitely 80’s with its over the top comic book violence and cheesy one liners, making Arnold a star and being it the quintessential action movie of the decade. Taken is nearly opposit in vibe. No comic book gore and ridiculous fights sequences, though some may disagree on that one. No instead it’s relatively gritty and serious with fights that resemble actual fighting techniques, much like the Bourne franchise. It’s a style that most action movies today seem to go for. Unless itself is based on a super hero.
Also, aren’t the two films enjoyed for the same reason. Neither of them have any particular depth other than a mans determination to retrieve his daughter, but both involve colourful villains meeting their demise at the hands of a one man army. They’re the kind of films that you sit down with your buddies over beers and watch on cheap friday night in. Commando never had a second outing, though it nearly did with a script that turned out to be the greatest action movie of all time Die Hard. So with Taken 2 due in October 4th, could this be anther land mark in its genre, probably not.