Follow TV Tropes


Film / Taken

Go To
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 ex-special forces commander who starts the series having taken up the job of being a bodyguard to help pay the bills and attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter Kimmy (Maggie Grace), who lives with her remarried-to-a-millionaire mother Lenore (Famke Janssen).

Kimmy 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 his ex-wife 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 miniseries to the first movie began airing in 2017, dealing with Bryan's past in the armed forces. It lasted for two seasons before being cancelled in mid-2018.

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

Tropes used:

    open/close all folders 

  • America Saves the Day: An American Retired Badass puts a whole Parisian kidnapping and sex slavery ring on its knees in just three days while the French authorities are shown 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 finding his daughter than his goal.
    • In the second film, the Turkish police are explicitly shown to be working with the kidnappers, or at least some of them are.
  • Anti-Hero: Bryan Mills, who is an Unscrupulous Hero.
  • Arc Words: Of the series: "I Will Find You."
  • 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:
    • The opening quote for this page. Too bad for the Albanians who thought he was bluffing.
    • Also, when talking to his friend in the Parisian police:
      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 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 a threat on an innocent person on one occasion. His opponents are sex-slavers, a profession 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.
  • 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.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: While averted in the first film, this trope is in full force in the sequels between Bryan and his ex-wife Lenore.
  • The Dragon: The very last guy Bryan confronts on the boat before the Sheikh gives the former a good fight, inflicting nearly every single wound Bryan has by the time he saves Kim. The guy still dies anyway.
    • The very last Albanian Bryan confronts before Murad in the sequel.
    • Oleg Malankov to Stuart St. John in the third movie.
  • Dull Surprise: Patrice St. Clair seems pretty relaxed and even kind of sleepy after Bryan wounds him and he attempts to plead for his life.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One of the traffickers killed by Bryan says that he has children.
    • In the sequel, this is going to cause problems galore for Bryan — it turns out a lot of the men he killed had families and friends, and they are pissed off.
  • Evil Plan: In the first, it was a routine sex trafficking operation that just happened to piss off a Papa Wolf. The second one is about revenge.
  • 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: Bryan's disconnect with Kimmy is summed up in the birthday party scene. Ultimately subverted. He definitely wins in the sequel.
  • Flipping the Bird: When he 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 primary antagonists of the first two movies are from an Albanian organized crime ring.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Bryan Mills is polite, 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.
  • Hero Insurance: In all three movies, Mills 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.
  • Human Traffickers: The series is about an American man who gets into a lengthy feud with a gang of Eastern European sex traffickers, initially after they kidnap his daughter while she's on holiday in Paris. As shown in the first film, however, the Albanians are just the lower rung of a much larger organization that includes corrupt French and Swiss officials as well as an Arab Oil Sheikh.
  • 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 Works Better with Bullets:
    • In one of the trope's finest-ever uses. In the second film, the abductors shoot a random hotel guest.
    • Used again in 2; see Secret Test of Character.
  • It's Personal:
    • "It was just business, Nothing Personal!" "It was all personal to me." *BANG* *BANG* *BANG* *BANG* *BANG* *BANG* *BANG* *BANG*
    • Did Bryan seriously think that the Albanian scumbags in the first film wouldn't have families who would want to avenge their brutal and bloody deaths?
    • And the other way around too: Did the Albanians seriously think that Bryan just takes things lying down? That he won't just rip through all of the Mooks just to find Lenore?
  • 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 Electric Torture.
    Bryan: "I need you to be focused!" (slams nails into man's thighs) Are you focused yet?
    • The vengeful Albanians torture Jean-Claude this way in the sequel.
    • In the third movie, after capturing Stuart, he goes straight into waterboarding.
  • Jerkass:
    • In addition to being brutal sex traffickers, all of the slavers are arrogant sods. Averted with Lenore's second husband — despite his role as the husband of the hero's ex, the filmmakers cleverly resisted the obvious choice of making him a berk, and he lends his hand as best he can with the situation.
    • They didn't resist for too long, however. In the third movie, Lenore's second husband is the one who orchestrates her murder, and he threatens to kill his stepdaughter as well.
  • Jitter Cam: Thankfully not to the extent of the Bourne movies, 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:
    • The guy who attempted to attack pop star Sheerah.
    • Subverted when The Dragon, after bringing out a knife, is only defeated subsequent to wounding Bryan some.
      • Then again, the former was just an average crazy stalker. The latter used special knives 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.
  • 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 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 the very narrow window of opportunity to rescue his daughter, 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. 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 Wolves". The final film can be called "The Wolf's Last Stand".
  • Parental Neglect: It's revealed that Bryan is guilty of this due to his career in the CIA and 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 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 are doubly foreign — they're operating in Paris and preying on an American tourist.
  • 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).
  • Spiritual Successor: ABC's Missing, starring Ashley Judd, is about a former CIA agent Mama Bear looking for her abducted son and stumbling onto some sort of larger plot. However, Becca Winstone has more backup and friends than Mills.
  • Stupid Evil: Oh, let's see, where to start...
    • The human traffickers 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.
    • 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 probably wouldn't have saved him, 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's all personal to me!" (BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!)
    • In the sequel, 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.
    • 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 American territory. Is it really such a good idea to continue holding his ex-wife?
  • 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: Bryan explains to a number of people that he just wants his daughter back. First to Marko, to whom he issues a simple and straightforward offer/demand, that doesn't work; then he tells his old colleague Jean-Claude that he won't leave Paris without his daughter; finally, he offers trafficker Patrice Saint-Clair a get-out clause if he just gives him Kim. Even by the point that he's proven he's essentially a one-man army, nobody takes his threats seriously.
    • So does Murad (Marko's father) in the sequel.
    • 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?: The villains of both movies 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.

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.
  • 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 pop star Sheerah against a Loony Fan who tried to kill her, she thanks him afterwards by giving him a talent scout's name for his daughter 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. 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.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Bryan's friend Sam shows up for a buddy get-together that reveals some of Bryan's past and is clearly still a part of the system. 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.
  • Damsel in Distress: Poor Kim. After her ordeal, she'll never disobey her father again.
  • 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.
  • Disposable Woman: The whole plot revolves around this; the reason Kim exists is so that she can be kidnapped, giving her father an excuse to show what a badass he is.
  • 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.
  • For Want of a Nail: See Contrived Coincidence. Bryan calls Kim shortly after she and Amanda arrive in Paris, and during the call Kim and Amanda are kidnapped by the Albanians. Thank God Bryan called at the time he did, since if he hadn't, the plot wouldn't have gone ahead and Bryan almost certainly wouldn't have found out the girls had been kidnapped until it was way too late.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: With an unpleasantly appropriate justification.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Used in the final fight on the Sheikh's boat, where both Bryan and one of the Sheikh's men resort to using wine bottles.
  • Groin Attack: One of Bryan's most-used techniques when fighting.
  • Guns Akimbo: Conspicuously subverted. 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 video footage 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.
  • 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 mook who said it to him over the phone into repeating it to him in person, to make sure he got the right guy, before he reveals who he is.
    • "I told you I would find you..." Bryan first tells his daughter's kidnapper over the phone that he will track him down eventually. When he does, he repeats this line, causing the kidnapper 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 visit's the Pitrels and demands from Jean-Claude to give him the information he needs. Jean-Claude pulls a gun on Bryan which he had hidden in the bathroom to force Bryan to leave. However, Bryan drops all the bullets onto the table, revealing he had found said gun earlier and emptied it. Bryan called out Jean-Claude had spent too much time at the desk instead of on the field because otherwise he would've been able to tell the difference between the weight of a loaded gun and an empty one.
  • 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 actual abductors are lowlife thugs from the Albanian mafia, but as Bryan carves his way through Paris to find his daughter, he discovers they are just part of a much wider and more sinister network existing at all levels of society, including the police and high-placed city officials, with clients including a wealthy Arab oil sheik.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: The climax. The sheik has a knife and is holding it to Kim's throat. Bryan has a gun pointed at his head. Guess who dies?
  • No "Police" Option: The movie operates under the idea that they had a small window of opportunity after Kimmie was kidnapped by a prostitution ring and she was lucky her father Bryan had all the skills necessary to track her down. Bryan does consult some friends in the Paris government for help, only to find some pushback in legal matters as well as some internal corruption.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Marko Hoxha and Patrice Saint-Clair.
  • 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.
    • 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 victims of the Albanians' trafficking of women. Bryan took out major figureheads along the way of finding Kim, so it's fair to say the entire operation 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 French cops are depicted as being inept, corrupt, 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: In the past, Bryan left a mission to attend Kim's birthday party 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, Bryan's ex-wife, 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). Also one of the mooks; he is the only mook on the boat to give Bryan any trouble.
  • 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Commando, wherein another retired old warrior races against time to rescue his little girl.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Kimmy is certainly spoiled by her multi-millionare step-dad, but she doesn't short her real dad on some love and hugs at her birthday party (Her scream of joy at the step-dad's pony gift was louder, but she wasn't faking with the karaoke machine from Bryan). 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 Unreveal: It's never fully explained what Bryan used to do; his conversation with his buddies and former co-workers implies any combination of wet work, special forces, or intelligence/counter-intelligence work. Kimmy admitted she was afraid to ask what he did and all he explained 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 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 what's called a station chief or section chief. Given the reference to Langley, he was more likely part of the CIA's Special Activities Division.
  • The Unseen: Amanda's family. Her parents are never seen, mentioned or even spoken to via phone; and her cousins in Paris have gone on holiday for months leaving the apartment for her and Kim. This also applies after Amanda is found dead, so it's entriely possible that by the end of the film they still haven't noticed she's missing.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Bryan gets caught by the human traffickers during an auction and is hung by his wrists in this manner, but he soon gets out and overpowers his captors immediately.
  • Villains Want Mercy:
    • After Bryan tortures the name of who bought his daughter from Marko, he demands where he can find him. Marko says he doesn't know, causing Bryan to go turn on the power again. He 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: I believe you... but it's not gonna save you. (turns on the power and leaves him screaming in agony)
    • After Patrice Saint-Clair has Bryan detained and orders his men to kill him. Once Bryan escapes and kills off the guards a while later, Patrice practically pisses his pants the moment Bryan angrily stomps towards him with a loaded gun. He begs Bryan not to kill him as what he does is just business and nothing personal. Bryan answers by repeatedly plugging him with bullets.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Covered more in Headscratchers.
  • 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.
  • 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 antagonists 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.
  • Big Bad: Murad Hoxha, the leader of the group that seeks revenge on Bryan for killing their relatives in the last film. Specifically, Murad is the father of Marko, one of the two Big Bads from the first film.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Call-Back: When Lenore tells Bryan not to go looking into Kim's boyfriend he just found out about, he tries to protest that he doesn't even know his name. She reminds him that he found his daughter 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.
  • 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, even if it's just a hidden cell phone. And he's got hand grenades, just in case.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Bryan tells Murad about this when they finally confront each other. Bryan knows that if he kills Murad, then his other two sons will just seek revenge for the death of their father, and will die the same way. Bryan mentions, however, that he can instead go home and raise his sons and grandchildren. The loss of his son is merely the price of being in human trafficking and echoes the loss of all lives his son ruined. Murad tries to kill Bryan, leading Bryan to kill him instead.
  • 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? Guess who's giving the orders.
  • Driving Stick: Guess what kind of car is used in the aforementioned chase.
  • Due to the Dead: After defeating The Dragon, Bryan closes his eyes in respect for the toughest fight of his life.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Uh oh, Bryan, did we mention that these sex slavers and murderers have FAMILIES in Albania that are VERY angry with you?
  • Evil Counterpart: Murad comes off as something of an evil Bryan in some ways.
  • 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 pieces.
  • Final Boss: The big Albanian at the end. The guy is very nearly Bryan's match.
  • Flashback: Made by reusing scenes from the first movie.
  • 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.
  • Fruit Cart: A few of them get smashed during the Chase Scene. Not just fruit carts either. Bagels and a few other carts.
  • Genre Blind: 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 boyfriend's house.
  • Googling the New Acquaintance: When Bryan finds out that Kim has a new boyfriend, the first thing he does is run a background check... just as he did with all her other previous boyfriends. Lenore even tells him to not run a background check on the new guy, because she knows that he ALWAYS does this.
  • Hot Pursuit: Lampshaded. Bryan had to shoot a cop just to ensure that Kim and himself even could get away from the bad guy's 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 bad guys want revenge on Bryan for killing their family members, and are totally unwilling to accept their own personal 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 bad guys condemn him for.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Both Bryan and Kim end up committing numerous offenses and crimes throughout Istanbul just to get their Lenore back. They're almost all in the heat of the moment, so they don't have much time to think about what they're doing. Examples include: ditching a taxi cab without paying the cabbie, stealing a taxi cab, throwing hand grenades in a populated area (albeit at targets that are definitely unoccupied), shooting a police officer, evading the police, and numerous counts of property damage. 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 applies.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Murad ends up hanging by a towel hook impaled in his brain stem.
  • Ironic Echo: To Bryan's quote-worthy threat in the first film, this time spoken by the Big Bad Murad.
    Murad: He slaughtered our men, our brothers, our sons. We will find him. We will have our revenge.
  • It's All About Me: Murad's motivation for avenging his son, not out of a sense of justice as Bryan accuses, but because the loss hurt him. See Moral Myopia below.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: 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
  • 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.
  • 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 finding and selling Kim as a sex slave.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The infamous frenetic cutting during Bryan's Chain-Link Fence climbing scene.
  • 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
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Murad Hoxha.
  • 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 (the elder Albanian with a beard).
  • 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
  • Red Shirt: The security officers at the hotel.
  • Revenge
    • 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 brothers and sons? They'll kill his ex-wife and sell his daughter.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Roofhopping
  • 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.
  • 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 sequels to the Taken movies, greedy Hollywood Executives just HAD to leave an opening for a third movie:
    Bryan: You have other sons?
    Murad: Two.
    • To be fair to that line, though, Bryan immediately points out that they'll die, too in "Taken 3", due out in 2015. With or without the involvement of Luc Besson is another story altogether. Ironically, the hook isn't followed up on in the third movie.
  • 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. The Dragon actually dies because he falls down and hits 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.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Lenore gets put in a painful-looking suspended hogtie by the Albanians. Definitely not Fanservice as she's fully clothed, hooded, and bleeding to death.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Murad after failing Bryan's Secret Test of Character. 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 Happened to the Mouse?: Jean-Claude Pitrel vanishes from the film after the 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 his wife and children.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Played straight by Murad.
  • You Killed My Son: The motivation of the Big Bad.

    Taken 3
Franck 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: When Lenore gets her throat sliced, there would have been far more blood 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: Stuart's really been pulling the strings and had Lenore killed to collect her life insurance to pay off Malenkov.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Being a PG-13 action flick, several characters get shot without much blood. Even when Lenore gets her throat slit, there isn't as much blood as there would've been in real life.
  • 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. Which will hopefully tip him off to the fact that he wouldn't be stupid enough to kill Lenore using a knife with his fingerprints on it, in their house. If not, then it'll be this trope.
  • Final Boss: Oleg Malankov.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: A given for the series at this point, this time waterboarding. It appears to work, but it doesn't.
  • 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.
  • 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.'
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We're not quite sure what becomes of Stuart after he is arrested. Mills 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 he pulls a Better to Die than Be Killed to avoid whatever Bryan has planned for him, or if Bryan just winds up killing him eventually.
    • We also don't know what happened to Sam. 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.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: Bryan commits a massive number of crimes in the course of trying to clear his name and later rescue his daughter (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.

    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.
  • Disposable Woman: Bryan's younger sister Cali, who dies in the very first episode.
  • 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