Magazine article Wired

Liam Neeson Will Kill You

Magazine article Wired

Liam Neeson Will Kill You

Article excerpt

Liam Neeson Will Kill You

In Taken 2 , the actor reprises his role as the guy you will never, ever get away from. Ever.

If you want to make a great genre story--thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, whatever--you have two choices: You can break format, maybe telling the story from a nontraditional point of view ("It's from the serial killer's perspective!") or with atypical characters ("A noir thriller in high school!"). Or you can try to make the reference standard for the genre, the platonic ideal. In 2008, Taken took option number two, in a genre that I call "You fucked with the wrong guy."

You know these movies. Alfred Hitchcock made them--The Man Who Knew Too Much and North by Northwest both feature an average guy embroiled in intrigue, relying on above-average character and intellect. Giving the hero superpowers is a recent advance--hapless bad guys might now fuck with the wrong gunfighter, commando (in Commando), kung fu master, etc.

Taken, directed by Pierre Morel, stands at the apex of the form--it even has a thesis statement. Liam Neeson, playing an ex-CIA agent whose daughter is kidnapped in Paris, actually tells the villain he can free the girl and walk away. …

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