Nicolas Cage used to be a highly-respected actor who was known for quirky yet brilliant performances in both comedies and dramas from Moonstruck to his Oscar-winning role in Leaving Las Vegas. But, something terrible has happened and it's been well documented. Ever since he co-starred with Sean Connery in The Rock, the actor has focused more on bombastic action flicks than the gems that made him the star he is today. Don't look now, but Liam Neeson has become the second coming of Cage. The actor was a rarity: a Hollywood star who had indie cred as well. He could star in Batman Begins, for example, but also appear in Kinsey. But, something happened in 2009 during Superbowl Sunday weekend in the United States.
Neeson's suspense thriller Taken, which had been released roughly a year prior overseas, basically came out of nowhere -- despite ho-hum reviews -- and just killed it at the box office. Ever since that film, in which Neeson played a former CIA operative tracking down his kidnapped daughter by any means necessary, raked in over $145 million at the U.S. box office, he's been making almost as many schlocky action films as Cage. First, there was his wiggy turn as Zeus in Clash of the Titans. He followed that up as Hannibal in the B-flick redo of The A-Team, and the thriller Unknown, a film that seemed to only have him saying "I'm Martin Harris" every three-and-a-half minutes. But, that wasn't all for Neeson. He had the audacity to reprise his role as Zeus in Wrath of the Titans, sunk the box office with Battleship, and starred in The Grey, a movie whose arguable highlight was the actor punching a wolf.
This Friday, a sequel to the film that started it all for Neeson will be released. Sadly, Taken 2, which finds his character Bryan Mills abducted with his wife while vacationing in Istanbul (I hear its lovely this time of year), is titled just that: Taken 2. The least the actor could've done for audiences disappointed with his recent roles is advocate for a sexier title or subtitle. Since he and the filmmakers behind it won't, I will. Below are some catchier titles for what's likely to be yet another Neeson misfire. Weigh in with your own titles as well. Comments welcomed.
- Taken, Too: Taking Care of Business
- Taken Aback: He Didn't See It Coming
- Taken 2: Take My Breath Away
- Taken 2: Taking It To The Limit
- Another Taken
- Taken 2: Take Harder
- Bride of the Taken
- Taken Again: A More Particular Set of Skills
- The Takening
- Taken Back: Indian Giving (* thanks to my friend Andrew for this one)
- Taken... It On The Run
- Taken 2: Electric Boogaloo
- Taken in Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- Taken the Kraken
- The Unknown Taken: Not Martin Harris
Follow Jon Chattman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thisisasides