Thursday, March 17, 2011

Liam Neeson confirmed for Taken 2

“If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” BANG, KICK, SMASH. “Jean Claude, I'll tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to!” WHALLOP, BOOM, THUD. “I push one button and 38 agents are here before you have time to scratch your worthless balls.” To some, this might come across as random scribbling or typing for that matter. But to many, these are just some of the memorable moments from the 2008 actioner, Taken starring Liam Neeson. Last week had it’s umpteenth terrestrial viewing of the crowd-pleasing mega-hit that brought in over $200m at the box office from a $25m budget and transformed Neeson into a modern day Charles Bronson. Now fans have had a big treat this morning, myself being one of them, that Liam Neeson has signed on for a Taken 2. I could almost imagine other film bloggers and forums uploading their pre-written Taken 2 announcement as it was inevitable that this was going to happen. It wouldn’t of surprised me if the 58-year-old actor hasn’t already been hitting the gym in prep.

The idea of a sequel has been in the works ever since the original became a surprise hit. It has been tossed and turned in that ruddy rumour mill with the Belfast-born actor supposedly stepping down as Bryan Mills and making way for a replacement. A whole host of aging actors were thrown in the mix such as Mickey Rourke, Ralph Fiennes and Sean Bean, all of whom are very watchable but it was Liam Neeson that really carried the film. He fearlessly stepped onto French soil to battle against an army of Albanian traffickers and rescue his kidnapped daughter. Initial details have only been published, that filming looks to be set for late 2011 early 2012.

The Schindler’s List star seems to be bagging more roles these days than Charlie Sheen has been bedding more women in the last week. He has had a jam packed last few years starring in Clash of the Titans, Chloe, The A-Team and most recently Unknown. I ventured to my local Cineplex a few days ago to watch Unknown and found it to be an outstanding thriller and another accomplishment in the so far highly successful 35 year career of Liam Neeson. The obvious comparisons to Taken were expected but this is on a different and some would argue far superior level to the 2008 film. As Dr Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) is involved in a car accident on a business trip in Berlin which leaves him in a four-day coma, it leaves him with memory loss and without an identity. His own missus doesn’t recognize him and he is on the run from mysterious hoodlums out to off him. He is after answers and by God does he mean business. This packs on hell of a serious punch, and thanks to great acting across the board and an intriguing plot which results in a devilish twist, people will leave feeling very satisfied and begging Liam Neeson for more.

Hold the phone. Liam Neeson does have a small role in the upcoming Summer movie, The Hangover Part II … Bet you guys didn’t see that one coming. Yes, director Todd Phillips has thrown a curveball and hired Neeson for a cameo role as “Tattoo Man” in the highly anticipated sequel. I can picture audiences now going berserk upon the release and with the Irish actor hopefully sharing screen time with Alan, Stu and the rest of the boys, what’s not to be excited about.

Post-Hangover sequel he has a string of other films set for release in the next year or so including Battleship (yes based on the popular game), and Clash of the Titans sequel, minus Clash and insert Wrath. He’s still a busy and popular fellow and to some, a man for the taking!

Written By Michael Cunneen