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Film / Taken

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Kim: Mom says your job made you paranoid.
Bryan: My job made me aware.
"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you...and I will kill you."
Bryan Mills

Taken is a series of French action thriller films starring Liam Neeson and produced and written by Luc Besson; the first movie, released in 2008, was directed by Pierre Morel, and the sequels by Olivier Megaton.

Neeson plays Bryan Mills, an American ex-government agent (his former position is never clarified) who starts the series having taken up the job of bodyguard to help pay the bills and attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), who lives with her remarried-to-a-millionaire mother Lenore (Famke Janssen).

Kim is kidnapped by Albanian sex traffickers on a trip to Paris on her 17th birthday. Afterwards, Bryan gives his daughter's captors the famous courteous warning depicted in the page quote via phone call, advising them to let her go and avoid the horrible fate he has in store for them. They ignore his warning.

Unfortunately for them, Bryan was not bluffing when he claimed to be frighteningly skilled, as he proves to be an old warrior whose viciousness would make Jason Bourne seem like a pussycat in comparison. Hell hath no fury like a father protecting his daughter, as the underworld of Paris soon learns the hard and painful way. At times, Bryan's exacting of revenge turns the film into an inadvertent Black Comedy, albeit of an extremely sadistic kind.

In the first sequel released in 2012, Taken 2, the stage is moved to İstanbul, with the families of the first movie's band of sex slave traders seeking revenge by kidnapping Bryan and Lenore while they are on a vacation there with Kim. Neeson was then paid $20 million to come back for Taken 3, which came out in January 2015.

A prequel TV series to the movies, with the same title as the first movie, began airing in 2017, starring Clive Standen as a replacement for Neeson and dealing with Bryan's past in the US government. It lasted for two seasons before being cancelled in mid-2018.

Not related to the Alien Abduction Miniseries Steven Spielberg Presents Taken. Or with the Taken from Alan Wake or Destiny. Or with Tekken (or with its film adaptation).

Tropes used:

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  • America Saves the Day:
    • An American Retired Badass puts a whole terrorist sex slavery ring operating in Paris on its knees in just three days, while several people from the French authorities are revealed to be complicit in the trafficking. Less of an example than most in that the grudge is personal, and bringing the ring down is more a side effect of Bryan's actual goal of rescuing his daughter.
    • In the second film, the Turkish police are explicitly shown to be working with the Albanian criminals, or at least some of them are.
  • Anti-Hero: Bryan, who is an Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Arc Words: "I will find you," which, after the first movie, is mentioned with variations in the next two ("We will find him," "You would find them," etc.).
  • Artistic License – Law: Most real life Human Traffickers avoid targeting women from rich countries, such as Kim and Amanda, because it would attract too much media and police attention. Rather, they target poor and destitute women from developing countries, including Albania, and traffick them to richer countries.
  • Badass Boast: And not just Bryan's iconic threat on phone from the first film!
    • When Bryan talks to Jean-Claude:
      Jean-Claude: You can't just go around tearing up Paris-
      Bryan: I will tear down the Eiffel Tower if I have to!
    • From the sequel:
      "This is not a game. I will finish this thing. You'll just have to die."
  • Badass Longcoat: In some of the publicity shots and part of Bryan's outfit for much of the first film.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Bryan is an ex-special forces soldier who tortured people in the past (which is where he learned his "technique"), is merciless toward his enemies, and carries through threats on innocent people on more than one occasion (especially in Taken 3). His main opponents include sex-slavers and terrorists, a pair of professions not exactly known for being all that sympathetic.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Bryan is on the plane to France, he is shown listening to the "Good luck" line over and over again. At the time, it just seems like an obsession. When he finds the Albanian slavers, he pretends to be someone in cahoots with them, and asks them to if they maybe could help translate a Albanian phrase for him, which just so happens to mean "Good luck". He then reveals that he has memorized the voice, and makes a special point to kill that one last.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Let's see: aiming for the nuts 90% of the time, playing dead in a shoot-out, shooting someone in the back, shooting someone who let their guard down for one microsecond just to talk, aiming for the head in a hostage standoff, the list goes on...Bryan takes every advantage and dirty trick.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bryan cleans house with the mooks (barring The Dragon). Considering who he is, it makes sense.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kim in the first movie, and Lenore in the sequel, both being the relatives of Bryan kidnapped by the respective films' antagonists (aside from Bryan himself in the latter case).
  • Determinator: By the end of the first movie, Bryan has a bullet wound, multiple knife wounds, been beaten in fisticuffs pretty badly by the sheik's Dragon, and most likely has a broken ankle, and still manages to massacre every Mook on the yacht. And that's just the last action sequence. Adrenaline's a hell of a drug.
  • Disposable Woman:
    • The first film's whole plot revolves around this; the reason Kim exists is so that she can be kidnapped, giving Bryan an excuse to show what a badass he is. Meanwhile, Amanda's purpose is to be killed in order to show that the bad guys are monsters and thus how important it is for Bryan to find Kim ASAP.
    • Lenore lives until Taken 3, wherein her murder is what sends Bryan on a third and last quest for vengeance.
    • The TV series has Bryan's younger sister Cali, who's killed in the very first episode.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: While averted in the first film, this trope is in full force in the sequels between Bryan and Lenore.
  • The Dragon:
    • Ali to Sheik Raman in the first movie. On top of being the Sheik's head bodyguard and representative at the sex slave auction, he gives Bryan a good fight, inflicting several wounds on the latter before he's able to go after the Sheik.
    • Oleg Malankov to Stuart in the third movie.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • In the first movie:
      • Jean-Claude has a wife and children, which is exploited to get information from him not only by Bryan in this movie, but also the Albanians in the sequel.
      • Patrice St. Clair mentions to Bryan that he's a family man.
    • This goes to cause problems galore for Bryan in the sequel — most (if not all) of the Albanian men he previously killed turn out to have families and friends also working in criminal businesses, and they are pissed off about their deaths.
  • Evil Old Folks:
    • Sheik Raman in the first movie.
    • A good number of the Albanians seen in the second film are elders, given that many are mentioned to have adult children or grandchildren.
  • Evil Plan: In the first film, it was a routine sex trafficking operation that just happened to piss off a Papa Wolf. The plan from the second movie is about revenge on said Papa Wolf, and the third one involves framing him for a murder.
  • Expy: The first movie has been compared with 24.
    • Bryan comes off very similar to Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell: Conviction, and the film was released in Ubisoft's native France in 2008, and the US in 2009. SCC came out the next year, and shares elements such as parts of the fighting style, and the plot of a Papa Wolf seeking his daughter and happening upon a major criminal plot on the way.
    • The music used in the action scenes of the sequel sounds like John Powell's compositions for The Bourne Series.
  • Family Man: Bryan is a father who loves his family; that's why he doesn't hesitate to kill every last scumbag who kidnapped or killed (his ex-wife in the third movie) their family members.
  • Father's Quest: Bryan has to go on a mission to rescue his daughter from a human trafficking ring that had taken her and her friend on their trip to Europe. Being a CIA agent with a "particular set of skills" certainly helps.
  • First Father Wins:
    • Averted in the first movie. Bryan's disconnect with Kim is summed up in the opening scene, where he watches a Happier Home Movie of her, and he continues to largely stay away from her after all the following events.
    • Bryan definitely wins in the sequels, though.
  • Flipping the Bird: When Bryan takes down one of the warehouses harbouring kidnapped women, while searching for his daughter and finding a girl wearing Kimmy's jacket; he takes the time to flip off the remaining bad guys and the French Police department investigating the explosion, while driving.
  • Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: The first two movies feature a pair of different Albanian organized crime rings, with the presence of relatives between them. The first one is a component of the larger sex trafficking ring in Paris, while the second one is more of a conglomerate.
  • Girl of the Week: While it doesn't last long due to there being three movies, every film from Taken 2 onwards gives Kim a new boyfriend with little screentime.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Bryan is well-mannered and doesn't like confrontation, but will rip your fucking head off if you mess with his family. It gets to the point that some of the methods Bryan employs to achieve his goals would make him an Anti-Villain if not for the righteousness of his cause.
    Bryan: [to Jean-Claude] Tell me what I need, or the last thing you'll see before I make your children orphans is the bullet I put between [your wife's] eyes!
  • Grievous Bottley Harm:
    • Used in the first film's climactic fight on Sheik Raman's boat, where Bryan and Ali resort to hitting each other with a variety of bottles and glasses from a cupboard.
    • In the sequel's living room fight, one of the Albanians throws a bottle he was drinking from at Bryan.
  • Hero Insurance: In all three movies, Bryan causes a considerable amount of death and property destruction. In the first film, he tortures and/or murders a few unarmed bad guys in cold blood; he also shoots an innocent woman just to get information from her husband. In the third film, he escapes from police custody and abducts a motorist on a roadway at gunpoint for a ride into town.
  • Idiot Ball: It's a wonder social services didn't come around to take Kim away from Lenore. It takes a particular kind of parental incompetence to encourage your (recently turned) 17-year-old daughter to travel overseas across another continent with only one person she knows along with others she's not even the slightest bit familiar with and call out her overprotective father for even mentioning how this could go wrong.
  • I'll Kill You!: Bryan swears to kill the sex traffickers, and for damned good reason.
  • Innocent Bystander: In the first film, Bryan shoots and wounds Jean-Claude's wife, even though she had nothing to do with Kim's kidnapping. In the sequel, one of the mooks murders a random hotel guest after barging into the wrong room.
  • It's Personal:
  • I Will Find You: Bryan never says this to his daughter, and the search is on fast forward, but Bryan still tears Paris a new asshole in service of this trope. And he does the same in Istanbul to find his ex-wife.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique:
    • Oh, the first movie's Electric Torture.
      Bryan: I need you to be focused! (stabs nails into Marko's thighs) Are you focused yet?
    • The vengeful Albanians torture Jean-Claude this way in the sequel.
    • In the third movie, after capturing Stuart, Bryan goes straight into waterboarding.
  • Jerkass:
    • In addition to being brutal sex traffickers, many of the Albanian kidnappers in the first film are arrogant sods, especially in comparison to the slave sellers and buyers, or even the Albanians seen in Taken 2.
    • Averted with Stuart — despite his stock role as the husband of the hero's arrogant ex, the filmmakers cleverly resisted the obvious choice of making him a berk, and in the first film he lends his hand to Bryan as best as he can with the situation, unlike Lenore. That's not to say he wasn't going to turn out evil, however. In Taken 3, Stuart is the one who orchestrates Lenore's murder, and he threatens to kill Kim as well.
  • Jitter Cam: Thankfully not to the extent of The Bourne Series, but yeah.
  • Meaningful Name: Lenore. In the first film, she's "lost" in that they're divorced and she's remarried. In the sequel, she's kidnapped and Bryan must rescue her. In the third, she's murdered.
  • Mooks and more mooks, and more mooks, and, just for a change of pace, even more mooks...
    • Even more mooks from Albania in the sequel.
  • ...which typically results in a Mook Horror Show as Mills hunts them down one by one.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: There's 50 mooks between you and your daughter/ex-wife, better get started.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight:
    • In the first movie:
      • The stalker who attempted to attack pop star Sheerah.
      • Subverted when Ali, after bringing out a knife, is only defeated subsequent to wounding Bryan some. This is justified in that, unlike the aforementioned stalker, Ali used a special knife with tremendous skills.
    • The toughest Albanian at the end of the sequel.
  • Nominal Hero: Bryan may actually be a step below Anti-Hero, considering that he is motivated purely by the rescue of his daughter, and is completely willing to do whatever it takes to save her, including torturing Jean-Claude's wife and threatening to make his children orphans. He only seems mildly disturbed by the sex ring itself and rescues a sex slave from it to get info. Chances are the utter carnage Bryan left behind gives a trail for French authorities to save them. Based on the conversations with his friends about his CIA past, he may have done some outright villainous things in his career, though that is left to speculation.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Even though Bryan Mills is supposed to be an American, he speaks with an Ulster accent much like his actor Liam Neeson.
  • Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation: It's never exactly stated what was Bryan's former occupation back when he was in the US government, even in the TV series.
    • His conversations with his buddies and former co-workers implies any combination of wet work, special forces, or intelligence work.
    • At one point, Kim admits she was afraid to ask what he did, and all he told her was "a preventer." A "preventer" of the type known in the movies to inhabit Langley, Virginia would seem to be a safe assumption.
    • Bryan's friends also reference a previous mission where "the chief" went missing. "Chief" is sometimes short for Chief Petty Officer, an NCO rank in the Navy, suggesting that Bryan was a former Navy SEAL. Chief also means, well, chief; lots of intelligence agencies have a type of position called station chief or section chief. Given the reference to aforementioned Langley, it's arguable Bryan was part of the CIA's Special Activities Division.
  • Old Soldier: It's never specified how old Bryan is, but Liam Neeson was pushing 60 in the first film, and was 63 by the time Taken 3 came out; Bryan's age is mentioned to be a factor, but he can still waste a dozen villains half his age without breaking a sweat, and it's only near the very end of the movie that he starts visibly feeling the strain.
  • One-Man Army: The main character goes through an underground terrorist sex-trafficking crime ring (and their relatives in the sequel) the same way Leon Kennedy goes through a Spanish peasant village.
    • It's practically a meme these days to call this film "that movie where Liam Neeson kills half of Europe".
    • Explained a bit with Bryan's backstory: He served with the CIA as a "Preventer" (apparently some sort of well-trained CIA spook) and special forces prior to that.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Justified due to Bryan's very narrow window of opportunity against the various antagonists, and the particular set of skills that he possesses. That said, he does get specialized assistance from time to time, such as the Albanian translator or Stuart hiring the jet to get him to Paris.
  • Papa Wolf: Bryan is savage when it comes to keeping his daughter safe, as well as his ex-wife later on. All those other tropes on this page having "Trope Name: The Movie"? They're not; the first movie is "Papa Wolf: The Movie," The second should be called "War of The Papa Wolves," and the third can be named "The Papa Wolf's Last Stand."
  • Parental Neglect: Bryan used to be neglectful to Kim because he was busy in the CIA, which is why Lenore divorced him, though it's clear that he does feel guilty about it.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Bryan does this a lot. In fact, the films' general message is that sometimes it's necessary for The Hero to do bad things to bring down bad people.
  • Product Placement: Bryan drives an Audi in the first film and commandeers a Mercedes in the second. Also, Kim is seen using an iPhone and Skype in the sequel. In the credits of Taken 2, there's a lengthy list of brands and products, some in logo form.
  • Retired Badass: Bryan is a former CIA operative and this is where his particular set of skills come from.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Both of the first two films have this as its premise, as Bryan tears through every bastard in his way to rescue his daughter (in the first film) and his ex-wife (in the second film).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the third film, Lenore is murdered, prompting a final rampage of revenge.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The Albanian gangsters in the first two films are doubly foreign — the ring from the first one operate in Paris and prey on Western people.
  • Signature Move: A punch or chop to the throat is how Bryan likes to operate.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Bryan's martial arts style is very abrupt and efficient, fully obeys the laws of gravity and physics, and involves no somersaults or fancy kicks — he even refuses to use Guns Akimbo when he has two pistols. His style basically consists of ramming hard things into people's heads, and ramming people's heads into hard things, and dammit, it works really well.
    • Even regular kicking is avoided, which is a surprising bit of Shown Their Work for Hollywood. Many martial arts experts agree that kicking is mostly ineffective in a Real Life fight (especially in the close quarters most of the fight scenes take place).
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: The films fall firmly on Level 3 of the scale, unusually for an action film series spanning between the late 2000s and mid-2010s. The vast majority of male characters are the only ones involved in the fighting and drive most of the plot, with the very few relevant femalesnote  taking the role of Damsel in Distress, Disposable Woman, or both. By Taken 2, Kim is the only female who outgrows this position, and even then she just provides non-offensive support to Bryan, while merely trying to dodge the bad guys rather than at least fighting them back briefly with the means she has in hand (to say nothing of the fact that she returns to damsel status in Taken 3). Of particular mention is the fact that plenty of Albanian women are seen mourning for their relatives at the opening funeral scene in Taken 2, yet none of them appear in the Albanian families' mission to get revenge on Bryan afterwards.
  • Stupid Evil: Oh, let's see, where to start...
    • In the first film:
      • The human trafficking organization runs on the premise that the best women are young girls with rich families that can send them on vacation and who have the diplomatic clout to demand investigations. Better yet, they operate at a post-9/11 airport so that they can be recorded by security cameras talking to the girls at their last known location. Even if Bryan hadn't made his roaring rampage of rescue, the families would be demanding answers, the news media would be having a field day, and the French government would have shut the whole thing down within a week (maybe). Human trafficking only works when nobody cares enough about the victims to look for them.
      • The kidnappers didn't make sure that the SD card got broken along with the cell phone. A first piece of evidence for Bryan.
      • Special mention goes to Marko, the guy on the receiving end of the Electric Torture. When someone has jammed three-inch nails into your legs, what you don't want to do is spit in their face, twice.
      • It wouldn't have saved him anyway, but Patrice saying it wasn't personal to the father of one of the girls he sold off (whom he also held hostage) results in exactly what you think it would.
        Bryan: It was all personal to me! (BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!)
    • In the sequel:
      • The Albanians leave Bryan and Lenore restrained inside a locked room with an open window and no guard watching them inside at all (they only leave a guard outside who falls asleep once), not to mention that they didn't check if Bryan was carrying any hidden equipment that would help him break out. While Lenore doesn't get out until later (since she has no skill and stronger restraints), Bryan manages to escape without any sighting from the Albanians, on top of figuring out his location with help from Kim.
      • A man just escaped from being tied up, he theoretically had no idea where he was being held, and had no less than seven guards within spitting distance. He proceeded to kill all of the guards and tear apart a good portion of the police force and cityside while getting to an American embassy. Is it really such a good idea to continue holding his ex-wife?
      • Bryan spares Murad's life so that he won't have to continue fighting off his vengeful family. How does he respond? By trying to shoot Bryan as he leaves his gun and has his back turned. How does Bryan respond? He opens his palm to reveal that he popped the last bullet in the gun, then grabs Murad by the face and impales his head into a wall hook, killing him.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing is going to stop Bryan from finding his daughter, and there is no line he will not cross to find her. He even claimed to be willing to kill two old friends if they didn't help him achieve his goal. All of Bryan's actions in the movies indicate that he was not bluffing.
  • Tranquil Fury: Bryan Mills doesn't do "screaming berserker". Even when he's threatening people, he talks loud, but rarely outright shouts. He lets the violence he inflicts speak for him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Even after proving that he's essentially a One-Man Army, nobody takes Bryan's threats seriously.
    • In the first movie, Bryan tells a number of people that he just wants his daughter back to no avail.
      • First to Marko, to whom he issues a simple and straightforward demand that doesn't work.
      • Then he tells Jean-Claude that he won't leave Paris without his daughter.
      • Finally, he offers Patrice a get-out clause if he just gives him Kim.
    • In Taken 2, the Albanians certainly took Bryan too lightly by applying lenient security measures after kidnapping him.
    • In Taken 3, those cops should've listened when they were told that Bryan doesn't screw up.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Paris, a Middle East city and freaking Los Angeles get turned upside down in Bryan's rampages and he absolutely refuses to stop until he gets what he wants.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The second and third movies open with Murad Hoxha visiting the funeral of his son and his associates and vowing revenge, and with Oleg Malankov killing a man after finding an empty safe, respectively.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Most of the major villains suffer from this. Bryan doesn't.
  • Workplace-Acquired Abilities: "But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you."
  • Worf Had the Flu: Bryan starts to run on fumes by the end (in addition to his hurry to finally get to Kim), which results in some tougher fights. Despite getting hurt a bit more, he doesn't stop. The same goes for the sequel.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bryan is not afraid to shoot someone's innocent wife in order to get the information he needs. He does have the courtesy to give her a flesh wound instead of outright killing her, though.

    Taken (2008)
Lenore: You sacrificed our marriage to the service of the country, you've made a mess of your life in the service of your country, can't you sacrifice a little one time for your own daughter?
Bryan: I would sacrifice anything for her.

  • Accidental Murder: Bryan finds Amanda dead the moment she's seen after getting kidnapped, but it's quite clear that this wasn't intended by the Albanians, as they were intending for her to be sold alongside Kim. Her cause of death could be excessive drug use on part of the Albanians.
  • Amicably Divorced: Not at the beginning of the film, mind you, but when Bryan single-handedly saved Kimmy's life, he certainly reclaimed a measure of love from his ex-wife, not to mention gaining the friendship and respect of her husband.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: After Bryan defends Sheerah against a Loony Fan who tried to kill her, she thanks him afterwards by giving him a talent scout's name for Kim and kisses him on the cheek. While she's slightly older than Bryan's actual daughter, he's still old enough to be her father. In the previous scene, she already cried into his chest the way a distressed daughter might and Kim herself also does later on.
  • Apologetic Attacker: After coercing Jean-Claude to get information for him by invading his family's home and shooting his wife in the arm, Bryan asks him to convey his apologies to Jean-Claude's wife. The request apparently struck a nerve, as Jean-Claude attempts to attack Bryan, who merely smacks him with a pistol right as the scene cuts.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Brian finally allows Kim to travel to Paris, Lenore asks him if it would have been easier to just sign the foreign travel consent form when he was first asked. Brian then asks if it would have been so hard for him and Lenore to discuss Kim going on the trip instead of dropping it on him out of nowhere, to which Lenore has no response.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Sheik Raman's Dragon, Ali, is probably the only person in the entire film to be on equal footing with Bryan in a fight… or the only person who lasts more than 30 seconds against him, anyway.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Pretty much the whole force seen in the film, though it could be that the "incompetent" cops are merely overshadowed by Bryan's awesome.
    • The "incompetent" part is easily understood if you compare a regular, day-to-day cop and lazy bodyguards to an ex-CIA agent whose life was black-ops.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: One William Hillar, who was eventually revealed to be a fraud who never even served in the military, said that this happened to him in Asia. In his version, it was the friend who survived, not his daughter.
  • Big Bad: Marko Hoxha, the leader of the kidnappers, and Patrice Saint-Clair, the man who auctions off the kidnapped girls and women. Sheik Raman's bodyguard Ali serves as a Final Boss of sorts, while Sheik Raman himself, as the man who ultimately purchased Kim, is the last person Bryan confronts.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Marko had no way of knowing exactly who Bryan is, but an organized crime boss should probably recognize that a monotone death threat instead of hysterical pleading (e.g. "I'll pay anything you want!") is going to be trouble, rather than shrug it off like it was nothing important.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jean-Claude gives Bryan his card to show that he now works a desk job. Bryan later uses the card to impersonate Jean-Claude when he infiltrates the Albanians' hideout.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bryan's friend Sam first shows up for a buddy get-together at the beginning of the film. He is later called up to get some information about what happened to Kim and what their best options are.
  • Compensating for Something: When Bryan and Stewart are arguing, before Bryan has revealed Kim has been kidnapped, and is asking Stewart questions about his business to determine if it had anything to do with Kim being kidnapped, Stewart starts playing the rich guy card, and Bryan yells, "Now's not the time for dick measuring, Steeart!"
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • The one night Sam hires Mills for a temporary private security job guarding Sheerah just happens to be the one night a crazed fan tries to kill her.
    • Bryan happens to be on the phone with Kim at the precise moment the Albanians break in to kidnap her and her friend; if he'd called her a bit earlier or tried to call a little later, the plot would have ended right there.
  • Dirty Coward: The young "recruiter" guy, Peter.
  • Dirty Old Man: Sheik Raman didn't actually want to buy Kim (Bryan forced Ali to do that for the Sheik so he could get the opportunity to save her), but he's more than happy to keep her for himself after the fact.
  • Dull Surprise: Although he visibly looks horrified, Patrice St. Clair sounds rather relaxed and even kind of sleepy after Bryan wounds him and he attempts to plead for his life.
  • Electric Torture: Played terrifyingly straight when Bryan does it to Marko. It also averts the trope association of there not being any visible wounding, as the electric current is ran into Marko by nails shoved directly into his thighs. And the scene was edited and censored for the American theatrical release, so the movie would have a comfortable PG-13 rating.note 
  • Enhance Button: One of the clues Bryan follows is a memory card from his daughter's broken cell phone. He finds a picture with a reflection of someone following them around. He doesn't zoom in much, but he is able to enhance it using a contrast & sharpen filter at a kiosk to get a good look at his face.
    • More realistic than usual; most kiosks like that will show a lower-resolution version of the picture to save on loading time. When Bryan presses the "Process" button on the kiosk, it simply loaded the full-resolution picture.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first half hour makes it very clear with several things. 1) Bryan loves his daughter more than anything else. 2) Bryan is a stickler for details and does everything with a precise edge to it. 3) He has a past life of undisclosed international field work that leaves him one of the most lethal people on the planet. The rest of the movie is showing what happens when someone takes away the first point.
  • Fan Disservice: One late scene has Kim in a bikini. Of course, she is underagenote , she is drugged-up, she is being exhibited at a slave auction, and her father is technically being Forced to Watch.
  • Forced Addiction: The girls kidnapped by the Albanian sex trafficking ring are initially transported to a brothel where they're forcibly drugged. This is meant to make them more compliant and dependent once they're eventually sold onto the black market.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: No one really says anything about Amanda after her death, even Kim herself.
  • Genre Blindness: If the kidnappers of this film had so much as a shred of savvy, they would've destroyed all evidence by assuring that the SD card got broken along with the cell phone.
  • Gift for an Outgrown Interest: Subverted. Bryan buys his daughter Kim a karaoke machine for her 17th birthday since she always wanted to be a singer. His ex-wife trivializes it, saying that Kim isn't 12 anymore. Although Kim's stepfather upstages him by buying her a horse, Kim is nonetheless happy with Bryan's present, and is implied to want to pursue a serious music career at the end of the film.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: With an unpleasantly appropriate justification.
  • Groin Attack: One of Bryan's most-used techniques when fighting.
  • Guns Akimbo: Conspicuously subverted, in keeping with the movie's overall practical and grounded approach to combat. Brian acquires a pair of handguns in the climactic gunfight, but he tucks the second one into his waistband and does not draw it until after the first pistol has been emptied and discarded.
  • Guyliner: One of the Sheikh's men on the boat has this, and he proves to be the toughest of them during his fight with Bryan before he finally goes down.
  • Happier Home Movie: The movie starts off with Bryan watching a video of Kim's fifth birthday.
  • Hate Sink: The villains are a bunch of human traffickers, some of the most heinous criminals in the world. And their operations are shown in cold, nightmarish detail for a PG-13 movie.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Marko twitching like a cockroach hit by a slipper when Bryan turns on the power. What did that moron expect to happen when he spat at a man who has just slammed two long and rusty nails into his thighs attached to a fuse box?
  • Hope Spot: Two very brief ones occurs in the film.
    • When Kim is hiding under the bed, she sees the Albanians walking out of the room. She tells Bryan that they're leaving, until she's grabbed.
    • Bryan finds Kim's jacket at the construction site, but not her.
  • Human Traffickers: The Albanian sex traffickers who kidnap Kim. As Bryan later finds out, however, the Albanians are just part of a larger prostitution ring that also includes corrupt French and Swiss officials, and has an Arab Oil Sheikh as one of its customers.
  • I Am Spartacus: When Bryan asks the group of Albanian slavers who Marko is, one of them replies "We are all Marko". However, Bryan tricks the real Marko by asking him to read a note aloud and identifies him by his voice.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy:
    • Considering the type of movie this is, this trope is unavoidable, but there is one particularly bad case of it at the movie's climax: The Dragon (armed with a sub-machine gun) unloads countless of rounds point blank at Bryan, and all but one bullet miss.
    • Earlier, the Albanians at the construction site unload dozens of rounds into Bryan's vehicle, without a single one hitting him or his passenger.
  • Instant Death Bullet: If you do not see a shoulder wound, it was a one-shot kill.
  • Invincible Hero: Throughout the whole entire movie, it seems Bryan's a badass who never gets hit once and everything's going in his favor. However, he does get attacked from behind, gets knocked out, and gets stuck in a trap — from which he quickly escapes and kills everyone there. He does finally meet an opponent with only slightly inferior skills to his own, and beating him finally earns him a good number of scratches and bruises.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • The phrase "Good luck." Not in the usual way, but perhaps even more badass. Bryan tricks the man who said it to him over the phone (Marko) into repeating it to him in person, to make sure he got the right guy, before he reveals who he is to the Albanians around him.
    • "I told you I would find you..." Bryan first tells the kidnapper over the phone that he will track him down eventually. When he does, he repeats this line, causing Marko to realize his screw-up and attempt to reach for his gun.
  • ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: Bryan uses a bag as camouflage to get into the Paris apartment. Jean-Claude also carries home a baguette for dinner.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Bryan visits the Pitrels and demands from Jean-Claude to give him the information he needs. Jean-Claude pulls a pistol on Bryan which he had hidden in the bathroom in an attempt to force Bryan to leave. Bryan responds by dropping bullets onto the table, revealing he had found the pistol earlier and emptied it. He follows by calling out Jean-Claude on how his large amount of time spent at the desk made him unaware of procedures and tactics regarding his job.
    Bryan: That's what happens when you sit behind a desk: you forget things! Like the weight in the hand of a gun that's loaded and one that's not.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sheerah. See Rich Bitch.
  • Karmic Death: Possibly good luck for the Dirty Coward, since as we see later, it prevented him from being 'interrogated'.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "We can negoti—" *BANG*
  • Last Chance to Quit: Mills gives the kidnappers a chance to release his daughter without further consequences.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Kim's virginity is friggin' plot armor.
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: The direct abductors are lowlife thugs from the Albanian mafia, but as Bryan carves his way through Paris to find his daughter, he discovers they're just part of a much wider network existing at all levels of society, including the police and high-placed city officials, with one of its clients being a wealthy Arab oil sheik.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: The post-climax confrontation. Sheik Raman has a knife and is holding it to Kim's throat. Bryan has a gun pointed at the Sheik's head. Guess who dies?
  • No "Police" Option: The movie's plot operates under the idea that the cops had a small window of opportunity after Kim was kidnapped, with Bryan doing the whole job in tracking her down. Bryan does consult some friends in the Paris government for help, only to find some pushback in legal matters as well as their engagement in internal corruption.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Marko Hoxha and Patrice Saint-Clair. The former did at least try to get a pistol before Bryan quickly curb-stomped him, but all the latter does is leave his men to do the hard work and then plead for mercy at Bryan after he defeats them.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
    • When Bryan impersonates Jean-Claude, no one questions why a French policeman has an Irish accent, let alone why one is speaking English.
    • Patrice Saint-Clair's name would suggest he's French, but his accent is distinctly American. Oddly enough, he's played by a Frenchman.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The look on Marko's face when Bryan says to him "I told you I would find you." He immediately reaches for his gun, but Bryan slams his face into the table first.
    • Saint-Clair when Bryan gets out of the trap in the mansion. As soon as they exchange looks, Saint-Clair runs for his life. He dies.
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: Subverted so you don't feel worried about the sex traffickers' victims. Bryan took out several major figureheads along the way of finding Kim, so it's fair to say the entire organization has suffered a heavy blow by the end of the film.
  • Papa Wolf: If you mess with his daughter he will look for you, he will find you, and he will kill you.
  • Playing the Victim Card: Bryan impersonates a corrupt French police officer to ascertain the identities of his daughter's kidnappers under the pretense of visiting the Albanian gang of sex slavers to discuss future bribes. One of the men has the gall to accuse Bryan of trying to extort them because they're immigrants. Mills immediately shuts this down:
    Bryan: I'm extorting you because you are breaking the law. You come to this country, take advantage of the system and think because we are tolerant that we are weak and helpless. Your arrogance offends me. And for that the rate just went up 10%. Do you want to keep negotiating, or do we have a deal?
  • Police Are Useless: All the French cops are depicted as being inept, complicit with the sex traffickers, or both.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Subverted.
    Bryan: Who's Beyoncé? [Beat] Just kidding.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Bryan is proven absolutely right in every way to have tried forbidding his daughter from traveling overseas. As well, the conditions he sets when he finally allows her to go (regular phone calls and such) are the only reason they had any sort of chance of rescuing her.
    • Liam Neeson has stated that the movie caused some cases of this in real life. People have come up to him and told him they will never send their kids to Europe, which he's not too happy about.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Bryan comes off this way, as he initially appears to care only about his daughter and doesn't help any of the other victims. Somewhat justified, as he only has a 96-hour window to find his daughter, and stopping to help some of the other girls could cost him valuable time. It's also eventually more or less subverted by the fact that, during the course of the search, Bryan managed to kill off most of the figureheads behind the slaving ring, likely destroying the entire setup.
  • Prove I Am Not Bluffing: Bryan demonstrates that he is willing to do anything to get his daughter back by shooting the wife of his French police contact and threatening to kill her if he won't cooperate.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Patrice Saint-Clair tries to paint himself this way, but fails to convince Bryan.
  • Race Against the Clock: Sam tells Bryan that he has a window of only 96 hours to find Kim before he never sees her again.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: It's mentioned that in the past, Bryan left a mission to attend Kim's fifth birthday party (filmed in the video he watches at the beginning of the movie) and got reassigned to Alaska for his actions.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Though Bryan remains divorced from his ex-wife, his heroics in this film put him on much better terms with her and their daughter for the remainder of the franchise.
  • Rich Bitch:
    • Lenore can come across this way at the beginning. She has good reason for not liking Bryan, mainly that he wasn't around due to his career taking out very bad people in the CIA, but she winds up looking spiteful and manipulative instead. She repeatedly tries to distance her daughter from Bryan (thankfully unsuccessful) and flaunt the fact that her new husband is richer and can afford nicer things for Kim. This invokes Disproportionate Retribution when you consider the fact that the woman yells at Bryan for trying to give his daughter a gift on her birthday (an Abusive Parent might deserve that treatment, not a guy who simply worked odd hours). And then children of divorce often play one against the other, so their daughter likely played off the tension to get more out of both of them.
    • Pop star Sheerah initially seems like this when, upon being asked by Bryan if she can give his aspiring-to-be-singer daughter any tips, she responds, "Tell her to pick another career." It's later revealed after Bryan saves Sheerah from an attacker that she meant it as a warning, as a lucrative career in the music industry is "not what everyone thinks it is". She ends up giving the number of her vocal coach and her manager to Bryan when he simply responds, "That's what she wants."
  • Scary Black Man:
    • He appears just long enough to get his ass completely kicked by Bryan (though he manages to escape, unlike his partner Peter, leaving his fate over whether he was able to get away or not ambiguous).
    • Also one of the mooks; he's the only mook on Sheik Raman's boat to give Bryan any trouble before the fight with Ali.
  • Screaming Woman: A single woman at the chapel screams in horror at the sight of Patrice Saint-Clair's corpse, which had reached the public floor by then.
  • Serious Business: Apparently, sex slaver Marko values keeping the location of our protagonist's daughter secret more than his own life. He's probably worried that his colleagues would do worse if they found out. Oooooh boy, is he wrong.
  • Sex Slave: The purpose of the trafficking ring is kidnapping girls to turn into these.
  • Sex Signals Death: Kim is a virgin, as the plot goes out of its way to note. Amanda apparently isn't, and was looking forward to having fun abroad. Guess who dies?
  • She Is All Grown Up: Kim. The film opens with a home movie of her 5th birthday, and then fast-forwards to her as a 17-year-old (sort of). Plus, this is no doubt what made her so appealing to the sex trafficking scout.
  • Shoot the Dog: Bryan shoots Jean Claude's innocent wife in the shoulder (non-lethally) to get information about Saint-Clair out of him.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: For once justified: Kimmy and Amanda are targeted by the Albanians because they're hot and can fetch a lot of money as Sex Slaves.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Kim is certainly spoiled by her stepfather, but she doesn't short Bryan on some love and hugs at her birthday party (her scream of joy at Stuart's pony gift was louder, but she wasn't faking with Bryan's karaoke machine). This is also in contrast to her mom trying to trivialize his presence.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The resigned look on Bryan's face when he tells Kim that she is going to be taken.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kim and Amanda, but mostly Amanda, as Kim had reservations about all the information Amanda was sharing. Two young, pretty American women who don't speak much French go to Paris alone, they accept a car ride with a stranger, they let the stranger see the exact address where they are staying, they tell the stranger where in the building they will be staying, and that they will be alone in the apartment. It's as though they went down a checklist of things not to do when traveling. Amanda is literally too dumb to live and pays the ultimate price for stupidity. Kim, on the other hand, is merely drugged and roughed up, and by the second film she has learned her lesson, as she travelled abroad with both of her parents at the beginning.
  • Translation Convention: Bryan Mills walks around Paris addressing people in English, including when he's impersonating a French officer. It's implied that he's really speaking French.
  • Try and Follow: Done semi-successfully by one of the mooks Bryan tracks down.
  • The Unseen: The entirety of Amanda's family. Her parents are never seen, mentioned or even spoken to via phone; and she says her cousins in Paris have gone on holiday for months, leaving the apartment for her and Kim. This applies even after Bryan finds Amanda's dead corpse, so it's entriely possible that by the end of the film her family still haven't noticed she's missing.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Bryan gets caught by Patrice Saint-Clair during an auction of prostitutes and is hung by his wrists in this manner, but he soon gets out and overpowers his captors immediately.
  • Villains Want Mercy:
    • While Bryan tortures the name of who bought Kim from Marko, he demands where he can find him. Marko repeatedly says he doesn't know, to which Bryan goes to turn on the power for a third and last time. Marko screams in terror that he really doesn't know, and practically begs Bryan to the point of tears not to kill him. It fell on deaf ears.
      Bryan: Where can I find him?
      Marko: (softly between breaths) I don't know, I don't know... (Bryan runs to the power switch) I don't know, I don't know! PLEASE! I DON'T KNOW! I DON'T KNOOOW! NOOO, PLEASE! Please! Please don't do it, please...
      Bryan: I believe you... but it's not gonna save you. (turns on the power and leaves Marko screaming in agony)
    • After Bryan defeated all of Patrice Saint-Clair's men by killing them or knocking them off, the unarmed Patrice practically pisses his pants the moment Bryan angrily stomps towards him with a loaded gun. He begs Bryan not to kill him by claiming that his job of prostitute seller is only business and Nothing Personal towards anyone; Bryan answers by saying It's Personal just before repeatedly plugging him with bullets.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A mutual accusation between Bryan and Lenore regarding Kimmy's Paris trip. Lenore called him out for crushing her dream almost on the spot, while Bryan told her off for making it a double-team ordeal where he was the bad guy by default.

    Taken 2
"The man who took our loved ones from us, the man who has brought us such pain and sorrow. We will find him. We will bring him here. We will not rest until his blood flows into this very ground. We will have our revenge."

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Right after an intense car chase in Istanbul and crashing through a checkpoint to get to the US Embassy, Bryan and Kim share a moment in the car (in which they are waiting for Bryan's friend Sam to call someone else up at the embassy to make sure they don't get shot at) where Kim asks what happened to Lenore, to which Bryan replies that Lenore wasn't able to, though she is still alive and is likely to be tortured for information. Bryan then reassures Kim that he's going to find the people that are after them and make sure they don't bother him or anybody else in their family for the rest of their lives.
  • All There in the Script: Suko's name is only stated in the film's casting credits.
  • Amicably Divorced: Continuing the trend from the end of the first movie, Bryan and Lenore have this dynamic. Predictably, they get a Relationship Upgrade. Based on trailers, you would've been forgiven for thinking that it had already happened.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!:
    • When the Albanians torture Jean-Claude, they show him his child's plush toy.
    • Murad tells Bryan that they will find his daughter and sell her all over again, this time to the lowest bidder to be defiled until she is nothing but a piece of meat.
  • Artistic License – Physics: At one point, Bryan and Kim together triangulate his position over cellphone by having her set off a loud noise (in this case a grenade) and him counting how long it takes him to hear it through his phone versus through the air. The problem is, cell phone conversations are rarely instantaneous; there's typically a portion-of-a-second lag between transmission and reception. While it would be in-character for Bryan to be able to factor this into his calculations, such reasoning could easily lead to Fan Wank, so let us simply say that this issue was not addressed.
    • For that matter, Bryan's calculations aren't even accurate. He counts off 4.5 seconds between Kim detonating a grenade to when he hears it, and so concludes that he is at a 4.5 miles radius from Kim, a 1 second to 1 mile ratio. However, the speed of sound in air is ~340 mps, so the correct calculation of Bryan's distance from Kim should have an approximate radius of 1.6 km, or just under one mile.
    • It was a rough estimate. He didn't need down-to-the-meter precision, just a general sense - that is to say, "are you one mile away? two? ten?". Once he gets a rough estimate of distance, he realistically uses local landmarks to get an exact fix.
  • Avenging the Villains: The film's premise is the families of the Albanian kidnappers from the first movie attempting to get revenge on Bryan for killing them.
  • Backseat Driver: Bryan guides Kim to the U.S. embassy in a "borrowed" cab. Given it's someone that without a license and an action movie, much havok is unleashed on Istanbul's streets.
  • Badass Longcoat: Whenever he goes outside while on the way to capture or check on someone, Murad is seen wearing a black trenchcoat.
  • Big Bad: Murad Hoxha, the leader of the Albanians seeking revenge on Bryan for killing their relatives in the first film. Specifically, Murad is the father of Marko Hoxha, one of the first film's two Big Bads.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Especially during the car chase, Bryan fires his automatic pistol far more times than the magazine would allow and is never shown reloading.
    • Averted later when Bryan gets his hands on an AK-47. He squeezes the trigger once for a few seconds into the gut of a mook before dropping the gun, the magazine spent. Also averted in the scene where mooks fire automatic weapons, as they need to reload the guns several times.
  • The Brute: One of the most prominent Albanians aside from Murad is a big guy named Suko, who does much of the physical work, including torturing both Jean-Claude and Bryan. He takes Lenore with him at Murad's order and proves to be nearly Bryan's match later in the climax.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The bad guys know for a fact that Bryan, on his own, cut his way through their sex slavery ring like a hot knife through butter leaving a trail of bodies behind him that would make a serial killer blush. This is the man they intentionally want to antagonize. Vengeance is one thing, but this borders on suicidal recklessness.
    • They started it because they were hurt at their loss after having lost several people from the village. They lost a lot more people than that in their foolish revenge scheme.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Murad shows Bryan photographs of the men he killed in the previous film. The only one he can remember is Murad's son, the one he tortured to death by electrocuting him through nails in his legs.
    Murad: You recognize none of them. To you, they were nothing, but to other people, they are... sons and grandsons, fathers and husbands. And you killed them all, like they were so many nothings. (shows Bryan a photo of Marko) And this one? You recognize him? You do recognize him. Him, you didn't just kill; him, you strapped to a chair, you attached electric cables to the chair, you turned the current on, and you left it on... until his heart burst.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Lenore tells Bryan not to go looking into Jamie, he tries to protest that he doesn't even know his name. She reminds him that he found Kim in a city of 12 million people in less than 72 hours.
    • Bryan and his buddies still get together for red meat and red wine.
  • Chekhov's Gag: At the beginning of the film, Kim is having a difficult time passing her driver's test. During the epilogue, there is a closeup of a distressed Bryan, which is meant to suggest he or his family is in peril again. Then the film cuts to a wide angle shot to discover he's just watching Kim parallel park for her driver's test.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Finding people.
  • Choke Holds: Bryan puts a twist on this technique by using a mere pistol to choke an elderly Albanian against a wall
  • The Coats Are Off: Bryan at the end.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted when Bryan is shot at through a wall.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It comes as part of Bryan's job as a bodyguard to always have the necessary equipment needed to make sure that he can get out of any situation, but this film is where it's really shown. For the trip to Istanbul, he brings himself a suitcase full of recording equipment, cash and passports accessible at a moment's notice, plus a hidden cell phone and even a couple hand grenades just in case. These preparations prove handy when Kim tells him that strange men have entered the hotel she's in.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Discussed in the final confrontation between Bryan and Murad. Murad tells Bryan that if he kills him, then his other two sons will seek revenge too, to which Bryan ensures him that they'll die the same way. Bryan mentions, however, that Murad can instead go home and spend time with his sons and grandchildren; his killing of Marko is merely the price of being in a criminal business like human trafficking, and echoes the loss of all the lives Marko ruined.
  • Delayed Reaction: At the living room where several Albanians are watching soccer on TV, the Albanian who decides to exit takes a while to properly react to Bryan suddenly appearing with a gun at his face, only walking back while dropping his things, then screaming just before Bryan shoots him dead and the other Albanians realize they're in danger right at that moment.
  • Disney Villain Death: In the climax, Bryan takes advantage of the multi-floor balconies around him by dropping Mooks from them, whether it be by shooting them down or throwing them off.
  • The Don: Murad.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Bryan's cue to duck before two mooks unleash a hail of assault rifle fire through the wall at him.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Subverted while playing it straight. Kim has failed her driver's license test twice now, yet she can drive perfectly when Bryan is giving her instructions. Guess who has to drive wildly through the streets of Istanbul while avoiding the police, and who's giving them the orders?
  • Driving Stick: Guess what kind of car is used in the aforementioned chase.
  • Due to the Dead: After defeating Suko, The Brute of the Albanians, Bryan appears to close his eyes in respect for the toughest fight of his life, though it's not visually clear.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: In their interrogation on Jean-Claude, one of the Albanians shows him his son's teddy bear to clarify that they're willing to kill not only him but also his family (although it's ambiguous whether they already did the latter or are threatening that they'll do it) if he doesn't give them any information about Bryan's whereabouts.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Uh oh, Bryan, did we mention that the kidnappers you killed have families and friends in Albania, and they're VERY angry with you now?
  • Evil Counterpart: Murad comes off as something of an evil Bryan with his Papa Wolf characterization, as well as sporting a similar Badass Longcoat once.
  • Famous-Named Foreigner: So, can we conclude that Murad Hoxha is related to the late communist ruler of Albania?
    • Hoxha originally was a Turkish title (Hoca).
  • Faux Affably Evil: Murad. There's a trope-defining scene where Lenore is talking to him, and Murad mentions how he admires her, how he thinks she's a innocent woman who had nothing to do with his son's death, and then he says for such respect he'll send her back home... in pieces.
  • Flashback: There are plenty of them made by reusing footage from the first movie. Later, there's also a few from earlier scenes in the film itself.
  • Foregone Conclusion: At the end, Murad says that he has two sons that will avenge him if he dies at Bryan's hands. Without batting an eye, Bryan says he'll just kill them too if that's the case. And sure enough, they're not in the third movie, although whether it was because of that or something else is unknown.
  • Fruit Cart: A few of them get smashed during the sequence where Bryan tries to get away from the Albanians going after him on car. Not just fruit carts either; bagels and a few other carts.
  • Genre Blindness: Despite having a pretty good idea of what Bryan is capable of, Murad still insists on prolonging his suffering and explaining what he intends to do to Bryan's family, then proceeds to not have a few dozen mooks with guns trained on him at all times. This turns out to be exactly as bad a plan as it sounds.
  • Gilligan Cut: The scene with the background check joke segues directly into Bryan arriving at the house of Kim's boyfriend Jamie.
  • Googling the New Acquaintance: When Bryan finds out that Kim has a new boyfriend named Jamie, the first thing he does is run a background check on the latter... just as he did with all her other previous boyfriends. Lenore tells him to not run a background check on Jamie, because she knows that he ALWAYS does this.
  • Groin Attack: Suko stabs Jean-Claude's genitals with scissors to torture him.
  • Hot Pursuit: Lampshaded. Bryan had to shoot a cop just to ensure that Kim and himself could even get away from the bad guys' hideout, and he flat-out says it. On top of that, the cab they were driving was stolen.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
  • Hypocrite: The Albanians want revenge on Bryan for killing their relatives and friends, and are totally unwilling to accept said relatives' own responsibility for the countless families they ruined in conducting their sex slavery operation, not to mention the fact that Bryan's actions were motivated by the exact same behavior the Albanians condemn him for.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Both Bryan and Kim end up committing numerous criminal offenses throughout Istanbul just to get Lenore back.Examples include They were in the heat of the moment, so they didn't have much time to think about what they're doing. Nearly all of this would typically be handled by the US Embassy and they'd get off without much hassle, but Bryan has to call his buddy Sam to pull some strings at the embassy just to make sure the US military doesn't shoot them as they barrel their way inside.note 
  • I Have Your Wife: Technically, she's his ex-wife, but the trope still applies.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Murad ends up hanging by a towel hook impaled in his brain stem.
  • Ironic Echo: Murad's funeral speech in the Villain Opening Scene parallels Bryan's quote-worthy threat from the first movie, especially the "I will find you" part.
    Murad: He slaughtered our men, our brothers, our sons. The dead cry out to us... for justice. On their souls, I swear to you. The man who took our loved ones from us, the man who has brought us such pain and sorrow. We will find him. We will bring him here. We will not rest until his blood flows into this very ground. We will have our revenge.
  • It's All About Me: As Bryan accuses to Murad, the Albanians' motivation for avenging their relatives is not out of a sense of justice (which is what Murad proclaims), but simply because their losses hurt them. For Murad's case, see Moral Myopia below.
  • It Works Better with Bullets:
    • In one of the trope's finest-ever uses, the abductors shoot a random hotel guest.
    • Bryan pulls this trick on Murad.
  • Last-Second Chance: Bryan tries to offer Murad a chance to walk away in exchange for leaving them in peace. Murad blows it by going for Bryan's discarded gun.
  • Maybe Ever After: It's implied at the end that Bryan and Lenore will reunite as a couple, but they don't officially do so on screen.
  • Mexican Standoff: The brief fight with several Albanians that leads up to Bryan and Lenore's kidnapping ends up in this situation for a moment, until another Albanian squad comes in to solve the conflict in the Albanians' favor.
  • Mirror Character: Two Papa Wolves square off over their children, both of them willing to break laws and endanger others if it gets them what they want.
  • Moe Greene Special: Bryan performs this on one of the Mooks in the climax with one of the many bullet holes said mook and his partner (who calls him "Mirko") left following a barrage of shots through a wall.
  • Moral Myopia: Invoked by Murad. Bryan killed his son, and that makes him the bad guy. The fact that Marko was practically a mass murderer to begin with, having condemned an unknown number of girls to a short life of sexual slavery, is irrelevant to the calculations. Murad even cheerfully tells Bryan that he intends to finish Marko's job of selling Kim as a sex slave.
  • Neck Snap: With many enemies, it looks like they are dying from a simple touch administered by Bryan, thanks to the removal of the crisp "crunching" sound to secure a PG-13 rating.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Done by one of the Albanians while he watches after Bryan.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Much like his son in the first movie, pistols are the only means of fighting that Murad uses. Plus, arguing with Bryan is all he directly does against him, and he attempts to fight in the wrong time and situation for him.
  • Not a Game
  • Oh, Crap!: Bryan makes a deal with Murad to end this war between him and Murad's family. Murad goes back on it and immediately comes to the realization that it was a very bad idea.
  • The Patriarch: Murad.
  • Photographic Memory: Bryan takes this trope to truly frightening levels. He was able to trace his steps back to where he and Lenore were held by the kidnappers in spite of being blind-folded on their first ten minute long trip, by remembering the sounds he heard on the way and how far/long the spaces are between each sound. Eek.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: In the car chase scene, the second of two Albanian drivers going after the taxi Kim and Bryan are on is tricked into passing through a railroad track just in time to get crushed by an incoming train.
  • Red Shirt: The security officers at the hotel.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Murad was really Bullying a Dragon. Had he quietly restarted the trafficking ring and kept under Bryan's radar rather than seeking vengeance, he might have avoided all this.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Bryan killed their families? The Albanians will kill his ex-wife and sell his daughter like the last time.
  • Revenge Myopia: Murad explicitly says he doesn't care what his son did to invite Bryan's wrath, only that Bryan killed him. Worse yet, he intends to finish what his son started and outright tells this to Bryan, knowing it will more than likely press the latter's Berserk Button.
    Bryan: I killed your son because he kidnapped my daughter!
    Murad: [slaps Bryan] I DON'T CARE WHAT HE DID! I only know... I will never see his face again, I will never hear his voice. (kisses Marko's photo) And as you held him responsible for your daughter, I hold you responsible for him!
  • Revised Ending: The film originally had a different ending than the one that ended up in cinemas. In the original ending, Bryan rescues Lenore from Murad's men before going to the Embassy and she is the one who gives Kim directions while Bryan shoots the cars chasing them. They crash into the Embassy, call Sam for help and cuddle as a family while they wait for the all clear. A representative comes to greet them and Bryan introduces Kim and Lenore with an awkward moment because he doesn't know how to describe his and Lenore's relationship. He decides to go after Murad and Lenore follows him, asking what he's going to do. Bryan replies, "What I do best," and turns to go. Lenore watches him leave before turning to comfort Kim. Bryan tracking and fighting Murad and his men is the same as the theatrical version only without Lenore's scenes. After this, the ending continues as it did in the theatrical cut with Kim passing her driving test and them going out for milkshakes with a surprise appearance by Jamie. Olivier Megaton felt that Bryan going after Murad and his men after Lenore and Kim were safe put his actions into a morally grey area that he was uncomfortable with, so he prolonged Lenore's rescue to make Bryan's actions more justifiable.
  • Right on the Tick: Bryan is giving his daughter a driving lesson at 2 PM and waits in the car until the exact second the clock strikes 2. Averted later on, when he deliberately waits an extra minute.
  • Roofhopping: Done by Kim and two Albanians coming after her during a rooftop chase scene. One of said Albanians accidentally hits a hanging wire and falls to the ground in his attempt.
  • Scenery Porn: The shots of Istanbul and the cemetery in Albania.
  • Secret Test of Character: Bryan administers one to Murad. He fails.
  • Sequel Hook: In spite of Luc Besson claiming that there will be no more Taken movies at the time of Taken 2's release, someone else in the production (likely Olivier Megaton or the executives) HAD to leave an opening for a third movie:
    Bryan: You have other sons?
    Murad: Two.
    • To be fair about that exchange, though, Bryan immediately points out that he'll kill those two sons too. Whether said third movie would have had the involvement of Besson was another story altogether. Ironically, this hook wasn't followed up on in the actual Taken 3, which ended up having Besson on board once again.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Much more so than in the first movie.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Kim clearly isn't over getting kidnapped in the first movie, and she has a flashback the instant she hears Bryan telling her that he and her mother are going to be taken.
  • Tap on the Head: Subverted. The final fight is not filled with flashy moves and both sides end up getting really hurt. Suko actually dies because Bryan throws him down and makes him hit his head on a concrete corner.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kim reacts rather rationally to the kidnapping of her mother, roofhops in Istanbul, faces an Albanian at gunpoint, performs combat driving that would make Jason Statham wince; and most importantly of all, gaining the courage to rescue her parents alone rather than running to the safety of the American Embassy and letting them die, in spite of not possessing any combat training herself. Only time will tell if she will live up to her father's legacy as a warrior.
  • Third Time's The Charm: Kim passes her driving test on the third try.
  • Too Happy to Live: Bryan's family.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Stuart, who helped secure a private flight for Bryan in the first film, abruptly cancels the family spring break trip.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • Jean-Claude vanishes from the series after this film's scene where the Albanians torture him for information on Bryan's whereabouts. One can only assume that they killed him once they got what they wanted...
    • It's also unclear what happened to Jean-Claude's wife and children.
  • Unwilling Suspension: In the sequel, Lenore gets put in a painful-looking suspended hogtie by the Albanians. Definitely not the usual Fanservice example for a woman, as she's fully clothed, hooded, and bleeding to death.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In one of the rooms where the Albanians operate at, several members are initially seen watching a soccer match on television while eating and drinking. They prefer to keep doing that when Murad notifies them that he's going outside due to the trackers being unable to find Kim. Bryan later shows up just in time to interrupt their fun with a fight.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Murad after failing Bryan's Secret Test of Character, subtly enough. His feared expression had "plead for mercy" written all over it. Bryan doesn't give the bastard time to beg for his life and kills him.
  • Watching the Sunset
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: While Bryan kills or knocks out most of the Albanian Mooks without mercy, he offers Murad a second chance in their post-climactic confrontation.
  • You Killed My Father: The villains are motivated by taking revenge on Bryan for killing their relatives (as well as their friends) in the first film. A specific example, aside from Murad's son Marko, is Suko mentioning to Jean-Claude that Bryan killed his brother and an unspecified number of friends.

    Taken 3
Frank Dotzler: You may very well be innocent, Mr. Mills. But that's the court's job to decide, it's not mine. My job is to bring you in and let the law take its course, that's it.
Bryan: Good luck.

  • Artifact Title: According to Liam Neeson, nobody gets taken this time. Although depending on how you interpret the story, Lenore is "taken" from Bryan when she is murdered.
    • Stuart does kidnap Kim in the climax and Bryan has to go rescue her.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Once Lenore got her throat sliced, there should have been far more blood on her corpse than there was in the movie, considering that the jugular would've pumped a lot of it out all over her clothes.
    • Except that, as we learn later, Lenore was not killed in his apartment, but killed elsewhere then her body was planted by the Russians. We can assume that when they killed her they positioned her in a manner where the blood wouldn't spill all over her. That and too much blood might have taken away the PG-13 rating.
  • Big Bad: At first, it seems to be Russian mafia boss Oleg Malankov, but it's later revealed that Stuart's been pulling the strings and had Lenore killed to collect her life insurance to pay off Malankov. That said, Malankov still serves as the villain of the climactic fight.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Being a PG-13 action flick, several characters get shot without much blood. Even the scene of Lenore's corpse, which involved a Slashed Throat, doesn't have as much blood as there would've been in real life.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Bryan uses a thug he's fighting as a shield against another thug opening fire on him with an assault rifle, with the first thug's body easily stopping an entire magazine's worth.
  • Clear My Name: Bryan is set up for the murder of Lenore.
  • Dialogue Reversal: At least in the trailer. Dotzler warns Bryan over the phone that all of law enforcement will be coming after him. His response? "Good luck".
  • Elephant in the Living Room: In the trailer, Dotzler recaps Bryan's background to his agents, pointing out that he's a trained sniper and explosives expert, and his service record comes to a strange dead end, which itself is quite telling. It would hopefully tip him off to the fact that Bryan wouldn't be stupid enough to kill Lenore using a knife with his fingerprints on it, in their house. If not, then it'd be this trope.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Dotzler is so highly intelligent that he's able to predict what Bryan is doing at that moment (like he knows that it would be useless to follow the GPS on the cellphone just seconds after Bryan puts it on a bus), and Bryan in turn predicts what the cops are going to do and works it into his plans.
  • Instant Death Bullet: The victim in the opening scene dies instantly after a shot to the guts.
  • Ironic Echo: Bryan's threat gets another one in the form of Stuart's explanation to Bryan about why Malankov's mob is after him.
    Bryan: They would have killed her someplace else, so why are they coming after me?
    Stuart: Because I told them who you were, that you would find them and kill them.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: Though neither marketed nor actually titled as such, the film is stylized as Tak3n on its DVD and Blu-ray cover art.
  • The Lost Lenore: Literally.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The infamous frenetic cutting during Bryan's Chain-Link Fence climbing scene.
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Despite Bryan dispatching a few dozen Mooks to rescue her in the second movie, Lenore is murdered in the third movie. Downplayed as both events are independent from each other.
  • Nothing Personal: Malankov tells Bryan that Lenore was just part of a business deal, "like many before her."
  • Please Kill Me if It Satisfies You: When he loses the final fight to Bryan, Malankov allows the latter to kill him off, even saying that he deserves to die.
    "First, he gets me to kill your wife, then you. And when that doesn't work, he pushes you to kill me, no? Either way, he wins. Your wife was just part of a business deal, like many before her. It is my turn to lose the game. Finish me! Finish me! I deserve it!"
  • The Reveal: Lenore wasn't killed by any of Bryan's enemies from the previous films; it was all arranged by her husband Stuart St. John in order to get 12 million dollars in insurance money.
  • Slashed Throat: How Lenore is killed.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Lenore.
  • Uncertain Doom: We don't know Sam's fate after the films' events. Last we see him, he's unconscious after having been shot by Stuart, and while a cop says he's still alive when they find him, we never found out if he survived.
  • Water Torture: The waterboarding variant is how Bryan interrogates Stuart after capturing him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We're not quite sure what becomes of Stuart after he's arrested. Bryan promises him that he'll come for him after he inevitably gets acquitted or a short jail sentence because of his connections, but it's not clear if Stuart would later pull a Better to Die than Be Killed to avoid whatever Bryan has planned for him, if Bryan winds up killing him eventually, or even if he ends up executed (another outcome that's implied here).
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Bryan commits a massive number of crimes in the course of trying to clear his name and later rescue Kim again. Some probably couldn't be proven, and others the police might not pursue (such as those against Russian gangsters). Others, however, were against them: attacking the officers who tried to arrest him, breaking into the LAPD database, hijacking a police car and kidnapping the officer inside, etc. Yet the only one of these which is even mentioned is the breaking into the database (probably the most minor of them) and he's let off completely on all of them. It's very unlikely the police would let crimes against them slide so easily. Then again, he does help them catch the real murderer and take out part of the local Russian mob for them, so that's probably why Dotzler lets him go.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Due to his switch in actors who look nothing alike between his two appearances, Stuart looks very different in the third movie from the first one. On top of lacking facial hair, he looks a lot younger.
  • You Killed My Father: Bryan says this almost word-for-word to Malankov: "You killed my ex-wife."

    Taken (TV Series)

  • Call-Forward: In the Pilot, Mike Hall tells Bryan that for the sake of not having to make the same choice Mike did, Bryan should avoid having children, especially a daughter. Considering Kim's existence, it's clear that Bryan is not going to take this to heart.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Hart's team will go to some pretty extreme lengths to protect the US from any threats, starting with the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique and going up from there.
  • His Name Is...: CIA agent Clara Ward is killed right as she is about to tell Hart who killed the Senator.
  • Prequel: Of sorts. It is a modern day origin story showing how Bryan Mills gained his skills.
  • Race Lift: Sam Gilroy was played by a white Leland Orser in the film series. In the show, he is played by Michael Irby who is mixed race.
  • Saved by Canon: Being a prequel exploring Mills' life prior to the Taken films, he is going to survive whatever is thrown at him.
  • Token Romance: Bryan and Asha. They are quickly thrown together at the start of season 1 and their romance is definitely the B plot to Bryan gaining his 'skills'. Plus, even before the cast shakeup prior to season 2, we know they won't last since this series is a prequel to the film series - therefore we know Bryan still has to meet Lenore so they can have Kim.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The team refers to the Mooks they encounter as "tourists".

Alternative Title(s): Taken 2, Taken 3