It was a close call for a while, but Liam Neeson finally signed on for Taken 2 a scant two months ago, guaranteeing a sequel to one of the best action movies of the last decade. (And yes, I stand by that as a professional film critic.) Can the lightning really strike twice? Maybe not, but it's going to get the chance as Taken 2 speeds up into production. They've got distribution now (always a good thing for movie that wish to be distributed) and a new director: Olivier Megaton, the man with coolest name since 'Wolf Blitzer.'
The problem, of course, is that Olivier Megaton has only directed one movie before (his second, Colombiana, opens this summer). That wouldn't ordinarily be a problem, necessarily, but in Megaton's case that movie was The Transporter 3, a rather shoddy film in an otherwise superlative action franchise. The film was as stupid as the first two films but also a lot choppier. What's worse, the filmmakers (who may or may not have been limited to Megaton) were apparently so concerned about the prior films' overt gay subtext that they fought tooth and nail to deny it. (Transporter 2 director Louis Leterrier has confessed that the subtext was completely intentional, mind you.) The third film protested way too much and as a result felt disingenuous, forced and simply out of character. It may not have been entirely in Megaton's hands, but he didn't handle it with deftness or aplomb, so I find myself concerned for Taken 2, the sequel to a film of surprisingly rich themes and subtle character work.
Thanks to Variety for the scoop. Keep your fingers crossed for this one, folks.
Crave Online will return with more Taken 2 news, if we can take any more of this.