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OFFICIAL Taken DISCUSSION Thread (NBC Reboot)


 
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 2 years ago '06        #1
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OFFICIAL Taken DISCUSSION Thread (NBC Reboot)
 

 
Taken season 2 premieres on Friday, January 12, on NBC.

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Last edited by SM; 11-08-2017 at 10:10 PM..

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 2 years ago '06        #2
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'Taken': TV Review


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Clive Standen is forced to live up to Liam Neeson's standard in an NBC series prequel that takes little from the films while also adding little that's new.

The pointlessness of TV shows mining brand names reaches something of a nadir with NBC's Taken, which manages simultaneously to deliver nothing relating to the hit Liam Neeson movie franchise, while also becoming a completely different show after its February 27 premiere episode. It's a rare double bait-and-switch that certainly doesn't benefit the average and forgettable show that Taken subsequently becomes

To get this out of the way up-front: Taken is not a very good movie. It's a brutally efficient delivery mechanism for Neeson to growl and k*ll an astounding number of foreign nationals in only 90 minutes. The sequels became increasingly less efficient, more sadistic and more xenophobic. The appeal of the franchise can be boiled down to Neeson's rugged exceptionalism, a few European postcard locations and the satisfying crack that comes from breaking the bones of a man who keeps kidnapping members of your family.

I hold Taken on no pedestal and yet whatever virtues the title denotes, the NBC series delivers none of them.

Adapted by Alexander Cary, Taken is a conceptually odd beast, a prequel set an indeterminate number of years before the events of the movie, but also in the present day. Bryan Mills (Clive Standen) is a former Green Beret whose attempts at an ordinary life, which we see none of, are upended by a personal tragedy that leads him on a mission for vengeance.

It's a premise that could have been established within 10 minutes, but then how would we have been reminded of what a trigger it is for Bryan Mills when bad things are done to female members of his family? And how would they have fit in a scene in which Bryan mansplains the proper handling of a tense and dangerous circumstance? It's something he does, I guess, but it plays as much more condescending in the TV context and without Neeson's authority.

Later, in case you've forgotten what you're watching, a suspicious character justifies an act of betrayal by telling Bryan, "My advice — don't ever have kids, especially not a daughter." See? Eventually someday Bryan will have a daughter and she'll be annoyingly kidnappable. Daughters, man.

For the majority of the pilot, Bryan indiscriminately dispatches hitmen and government agents alike. This is where Taken is most similar to the movie, turning wanton death into repetitive drudgery.

Then Bryan meets "a deputy director with special portfolio at the office of the director of national intelligence" who recruits him to work with a team on cases that involve more indiscriminate slaughter, but possess no visible oversight or jurisdiction.

Somebody figured Bryan's monomaniacal drive for revenge wouldn't be enough for a sustaining series, even though "monomaniacal" is to the Bryan Mills brand as "meats" is to Arby's. Making him a single cog within a unit that goes around defusing tense situations — two episodes involve abductions, as if Taken figures that anybody getting taken by anybody at least makes it relevant — in abandoned warehouses, abandoned factories and other abandoned, generic sets is an odd choice.

It's not like the TV version of Bryan comes equipped with some preexisting particular skills but he's being taught others. No, he's already a man capable of taking out a full elite squad of thugs, with or without weaponry, so all he's learning are patience and teamwork, things that we know will have absolutely nothing to do with the man he becomes.

What Taken actually proves to be as a series is just another NBC action drama in which a government team faces a different limited threat each week, while the enigmatic and tortured hero at the center of the show spends two minutes per episode getting to the root of his own individual psychosis, breaking bits and pieces of protocol along the way. It's Blacklist without James Spader chewing scenery, or Blindspot without the tattoos, or Chicago Federal Government without the Chicago (or any recognizable urban texture other than poorly disguised Toronto).

A movie about a lone wolf has been reconfigured as an anonymous ensemble procedural in which, after four episodes, I couldn't tell you the names or specializations or a single character detail pertaining to any of Bryan's colleagues, other than that one is played by Smash from Friday Night Lights (Gaius Charles) and another has a mustache. Jennifer Beals plays the aforementioned "deputy director with special portfolio at the office of the director of national intelligence" and deserves some sort of honorary Emmy for delivering that expositional introduction with a straight face.

Standen, born in Northern Ireland but oddly covering up his American accent in a different way from Northern Ireland-born Neeson, comes to Taken off of an utterly entertaining turn as Rollo on History Channel's generally underrated Vikings. He balanced rugged swagger and abiding jealousy on Vikings, even bringing hints of humor to an unstoppable warrior. Only the latter trait is in evidence on Taken.

Early episodes include several scenes of close f*ghting, delivering an impressive body count by network standards, but not a PG-13 level of limb torsion and bloodless slaughter, causing boredom to set in. Standen is entirely convincing, so much so that whenever Beals' character sends another agent in to do anything, the immediate response is, "Why not just let Bryan do it to save time?" He's less convincing in Bryan's quieter moments, including a slow-gestating romance, and any time he's asked to wear a silly sweater. Making Bryan into a three-dimensional character who feels emotions more than umbrage about his daughter's kidnapping was a good idea, but only in spirit and not execution.

"Bryan Mills" isn't a character name people are going to tune in for. He was a barely sketched movie character who was made entertainingly threatening by a compelling actor. The initial spike of recognition that comes from calling a show Taken rather than, say, Sister-Missing Tough Guy doesn't make up for the irritation that will come from viewers seeing how little of the big-screen Taken's DNA is actually in NBC's drama, and how little of substance has been added to take its place.

 2 years ago '06        #3
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 2 years ago '06        #4
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Everything You Need to Know About NBC's Taken Series

Vikings' Clive Standen stars as Bryan Mills - aka young Liam Neeson - a former Green Beret who must cope with a great personal tragedy while simultaneously adjusting to his new job as a CIA operative. But that's only the half of it! Whether you're a fan of the original Taken trilogy or just intrigued by the prospect of a new, serialized thriller, here's everything you need to know about the Taken TV series.

It's from the same producer: Luc Besson, who wrote and produced the original trilogy, is an executive producer on the series. According to fellow executive producers Alex Cary and Matt Gross, Besson wanted to be more involved in TV adaptations of his work after the CW's Nikita and Transporter: The Series. "He has steered us in a direction that I think will be loyal and faithful to his original vision in the movies, but he has not limited himself in a way," Cary said.

It's not a reboot or a prequel: This is where the Taken series gets confusing: It's Liam Neeson's character from the movies only 30 years younger, but it's also set in present day. That means it isn't a straight-forward prequel to the trilogy, but the show isn't really a reboot either. It's still telling the origin story of the movie version of Bryan Mills, despite the fact that both Liam Neeson Bryan and Clive Standen Bryan reside in present day. It's all very confusing, so just don't ask questions and accept the timey-wimey premise.

Bryan is still out to avenge a young woman: Before Bryan wrought havoc on the people who took his daughter, he apparently wrought havoc on the people who k*lled his younger sister. Before the events of the series began, Bryan k*lled big-time criminal Mejia's son during a military raid gone wrong, and now Mejia is out for revenge. Bryan's sister Cali (Celeste Desjardins) is a casualty of this vengeance, sending Bryan on his own vengeance mission against Mejia. It's basically an ouroboros of revenge.

Bryan falls in with a motley crew: After his business with Mejia catches the eyes of a secret CIA faction run by Jennifer Beals' Christina Hart, Bryan becomes the organization's latest recruit. But this isn't some noble band of soldiers. They aren't above using innocent people as bait and threatening murder - or worse - to get what they need. However, the morally ambiguous group does get bonus points for having Friday Night Lights alum Gaius Charles play one of the operatives.

There's a lot of action: Despite being the newbie on the team, Bryan manages to find himself playing a crucial role in nearly every major operation. That leads to some intense action sequences - most of which Standen performs himself. "I do all of my own stunts, apart from some of the car stunts, because they're just frankly too dangerous, and I try to drive like Jason Bourne in my real life anyway," he joked to ET. "But I do it -- not because I have an adrenaline rush -- but because I want the camera to be on my face, rather than the back of my head."

Taken will tell the story of "how a hero becomes a hero"

Bryan is still learning his very particular set of skills: As Bryan warns in the first film, he has a "very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career." What the Taken series aims to do is not only show how Bryan became the hardened man we see in the films, but also exactly how he developed and honed that very particular set of skills. That means that as badass as Bryan is in the show, he hasn't quite reached Liam Neeson levels yet.

They aren't above in-jokes: Even though a Taken newbie could appreciate the series without issue, the writers aren't above sprinkling in little Easter eggs for movie fans. When facing off against an enemy in the premiere, Bryan is given the following advice: "Don't ever have kids - especially not a daughter." Yuck, yuck, yuck. That's what we call foreshadowing, people!

Taken premieres Monday at 10/9c on NBC.

 2 years ago '06        #5
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 2 years ago '06        #6
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This is kinda lit

 2 years ago '16        #7
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Watching now it aight and Jennifer Beals

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still s*xy


Last edited by Bidam7; 02-27-2017 at 08:37 PM..

 2 years ago '06        #8
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NBC's Taken: Is Young Bryan Mills' Set of Skills Particularly Interesting?

NBC this Monday served up Taken, it’s prequel, set in 2017, to the film franchise that started up in 2008. Will you stick around to follow the evolution of Bryan Mills’ certain grouping of abilities?

Whereas Mills when we met him in the first Taken film was a retired CIA operative, here (with Vikings‘ Clive Standen succeeding/preceding? Liam Neeson) he only has his Green Beret past behind him, having served three tours in Afghanistan. He is making a trip home, via train, with his younger sister Carrie, when he senses something isn’t quite kosher. Bryan gruffly whispers directions for Carrie to follow, to keep her safe as he sizes things up, but once all the f*ghting and shooting is done, all of the passengers are alive and well… except her.

Bryan’s bittersweet heroics catch the attention of a super-secret somethingoranother group led by Jennifer Beals, who speculate that he had been targeted by cartel boss Carlos Meija, seeking revenge for Bryan’s k*lling of his son (who had a DEA agent at gunpoint during an undercover op). Bryan meanwhile about laying his sister to rest back home — looking over his shoulder at all times, especially when black paneled vans lurk down the street. After a skirmish with one such van, Bryan brushes off his father’s plea to sit still and instead holes up at his own, remote house, where he quite ably fends off three would-be a*sassins and k*lls a fourth. “Dudes got some skills,” says one of Beals’ charges, surveying Mills’ handiwork.

Mills reaches out to the DEA agent whose life he saved years ago, warning that he will be targeted as well. But after hanging up, Bryan sees a text message arrive on the phone of the a*sassin he k*lled — from his DEA agent pal. Bryan leads his friend to believe he got taken out, then gets the jump on him in a parking garage. After eluding another k*ller during a parking garage car chase, Mills and the DEA dude retreat to some metro tunnels, where the latter explains that his own family was being threatened. “Don’t ever have kids — especially not a daughter,” he advises Mills, wink-wink.

After sparing the snitch’s life, Mills allows himself to be captured by Meija‘s men, who then string him up in a remote barn. There, Meija himself arrives to confront his son’s k*ller — and exact more revenge, while Mills realizes that the cartel boss was the actual triggerman on the train. That is when Beals’ team swoops in on the scene, teeing up a massive shootout. Mills gets free and trains a gun on his sister’s k*ller, but gets shot by Beals’ men before he can k*ll Meija.

When Mills wakes up in a Buffalo hospital, Beals introduces herself as Christina Hart, the deputy director of a special portfolio (“emergency covert action team”) of the Office of National Intelligence, where she answers to the president. She says that she sees in Mills a man who is “wired to protect others,” and explains that in keeping Meija alive, they can do much good working off of the valuable intel he can provide. Will Bryan be a part of Hart’s team? Or will he let Carrie’s death be for nothing?

 2 years ago '06        #9
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 1 year ago '06        #10
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 Bidam7 said
Watching now it aight and Jennifer Beals

[pic - click to view]

still s*xy
Taken season 2 premieres on Friday, January 12, on NBC.

 1 year ago '06        #11
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