These days we kind of take it for granted that Liam Neeson is the biggest badass on the planet. But, once upon a time, he was just a budding action star, an actor making a transition from the dramatic roles of his youth to the more throat-punching direction his career has taken recently. Then Taken happened, and suddenly he became the biggest action star on the planet. That modestly budgeted actioner took in $226m worldwide, becoming such a surprise hit that we now find ourselves in the position of eagerly awaiting the sequel.
This week, “Entertainment Weekly” is taking advantage of the anticipation by debuting a few stills from the movie, as well as having a little chat with Neeson about what danger his character is going to face this time around. When asked about how Taken 2 ties in to the end of the first film, Neeson explained, “The action is supposed to take place about a year or a year and a half after the first story. It’s a very clever sequel with the usual thrills and spills, but the ante is upped quite a bit in this one.”
The actor goes on to say that the trouble of the second film starts when he invites his wife and daughter to come stay with him in Istanbul, where he’s doing some security work for a powerful sheik. Apparently the relatives of all the guys he brutally killed in the first film are looking for revenge, and they take this as an opportunity to strike. Neeson says, “Yeah, I took out a lot of Albanian guys – smugglers and sex traffickers. They met grisly ends. So now it’s their uncles, brothers, fathers, who have motive to find this guy, come hell or high water.”
So, is the sequel set to be a straight rehash of the first film, Neeson’s daughter gets taken away and then he has to get her back again? Not quite. You see, there’s an unexpected twist. Neeson reveals that this time around, “I’m taken – let’s put it that way. They kidnap him to humiliate him, torture him, and ultimately bring him back to the village in Albania where the boys from the original film came from. With the help of my daughter…she wants to help me escape from where these bad guys have me.”
For the full interview and a peak at several images of Neeson looking iconically badass and hurting bad guys in horrible ways, head on over to Inside Movies.