Ready to embark on a wild ride with a younger, sprightlier, and slightly less grey Bryan Mills?
Clive Standen steps into those big action-hero shoes, taking us on a whirlwind journey before the famous “particular set of skills” days.
Taken isn't just about rescues and revenge. It’s a thrilling, “how did he become THAT guy” backstory.
Buckle up, folks, this is the origin story of those epic Liam Neeson (Cold Pursuit) movies. But is it any good and should you take the time to get to know Bryan Mills a little better?
What Is Taken About?
Taken, the series, on Amazon Prime has its roots in the original 2008 Liam Neeson movie. It features a character called Bryan Mills, a former Green Beret, who is out for revenge when a personal tragedy shakes his world.
It all starts when his sister is killed in a train shootout with two suspected random terrorists. Deputy Director Christina Hart and her team start tracking Mills only to learn that he killed the son of Carlos Mejia, a drug lord, while he was saving Mike Hall, a DEA undercover agent, in Colombia in 2015.
So then Mills gets recruited by a secret team of deadly CIA operatives by his own Government and must then take on very dangerous missions around the world. That's basically the plot which the entire two seasons revolve around.
The initial episodes see Mills dealing with personal loss. Throughout the first season, we witness his transformation from a revenge-driven individual to an operative for a covert team.
It's not just about raw physical prowess; Bryan has to grapple with complex moral questions and heart-wrenching decisions.
By the second season we delve deeper into the secretive world of government operations. The stakes are higher, and Mills gets entangled in more intricate missions.
But Bryan's past refuses to stay buried, and it threatens to disrupt his present even when he becomes an indispensable asset to his team.
But like all good action thrillers, the hits keep coming and there is seemingly no end to the number of people who are trying to kill him. Which kind of makes it tricky to have a personal life…just saying!
Taken TV Show Official Trailer
Is Taken Worth Watching?
Like a lot of tv shows in this genre, Taken is an over the top, all-out action fest. Every episode follows the same formula. The world is in imminent danger and only this team can solve the crisis before the earth implodes on itself.
And just when there are mere seconds left, Bryan (Clive Standen from Vikings) and his fellow operatives get the job done. And all under the guidance of their beleaguered team leader Christina Hart (Jennifer Beals).
As formulaic tv shows go, most of the boxes do get ticked. However, in the midst of creating these convoluted and impossible scenarios, the showrunners forget that a half-decent script is a necessary part of the proceedings.
Unlike The Blacklist, Blindspot or Homeland there is no real depth to anything that happens. It's more wham-bam with celebratory claps on the back over a few beers before the next crisis happens.
However, and I hate to admit this, the reality is that for all the eye-roll-inducing nonsense, Taken is still watchable and mildly compelling. That's probably because of the source material. Even still, I don't even know how that happened.
Despite its compelling narrative, it's the same as every other action show out there, just a little bit worse.
The acting/script is questionable and every episode has the usual car chases, near-death misses, and hackers who can instantly tap into every street cam and CCTV to catch the bad guys. And yet, I still watched it.
If you accept it for what it is, then you'll probably enjoy it. If you're looking for something different with real oomph then bypass it and don't waste your time.
Why Was Taken Cancelled?
Taken was cancelled after its second season by NBC due to a combination of factors. The most significant reasons were declining ratings and mixed critical reviews.
After the first season showed some promise, the network decided to revamp the show's format and direction in its second season, leading to some original cast members departing.
Despite these changes, the ratings did not improve as hoped. Ultimately, given the competitive landscape of television and the need for networks to prioritise shows that draw significant viewership, NBC decided not to continue with a third season of Taken.
Taken Cast & Characters
Taken may have its issues but the cast hits the right notes when it comes to embodying the various characters that make up the two seasons. Thankfully!
Clive Standen as Bryan Mills
Jennifer Beals as Christina Hart
Gaius Charles as John
Brooklyn Sudano as Asha
Monique Gabriela Curnen as Vlasik
Michael Irby as Scott
Jose Pablo Cantillo as Dave
James Landry Hébert as Rem
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