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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

PILOT REVIEW: Taken

TAKEN












Starring: Clive Standen, Gaius Charles, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Michael Irby, Jose Pablo Cantillo, James Landry Hebert, and Jennifer Beals

Created for Television by Alexander Cary
Written by Alexander Cary, Directed by Alex Graves

Most of the time when there's a TV reboot of a hit movie, I haven't seen the movie. I'm such a TV buff that I have very little time for movies. But Taken is one of those movies I have seen so I am equipped to make comparisons unlike usual. And Taken the TV show suffers greatly compared to the thrilling, albeit occasionally outrageous, film. Set up as a prequel (but also oddly set in modern day), Taken looks at a young version of Liam Neeson's character, played by Clive Standen. He has a personal tragedy in his life when his sister is killed and is out for revenge as he also begins working for the CIA for Christina Hart (Jennifer Beals).

The first thing that jumps out is how much Liam Neeson is missed. Clive Standen is fine as a young Bryan Mills. But Neeson really made the movie what it is. Think about it, that movie really doesn't bring anything new to the table but it was wildly popular and a good portion of that was due to Neeson. So when he's missing, there really isn't anything exciting and unique about this show. It's just another by the books thriller with the usual twists, the fight scenes, etc. Standen doesn't do a bad job but he doesn't have the chops to elevate the show above the material the way Neeson did with the movie.

There really is no way that Taken the series can win. The movie was a thriller from start to finish with such great, tense moments. There's no way that can be sustained as a weekly series. So the show decides to become more of a procedural with Bryan Mills joining the CIA. But the way that the show has adapted itself to make it a sustainable weekly series means it takes away what made Taken the film special. And aside from obviously taking the basics from the movie, I'm not sure that Taken is really even an apt name for this show. Like most movies turned into TV shows, this probably should have stayed just a movie.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Probably not. I'm more likely to watch the movie again next time it's on TV.

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