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TAKEN

taken_mv_t3 taken_mv_t2 taken_tv_t taken_mv_t
 
Full Name: Bryan Mills
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Luc Besson
Time Span: 2008 - 2018

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Bryan Mills is a former CIA agent.
       I almost put down that he was a hostage rescue expert because he most certainly is highly trained and experienced in finding and freeing kidnapped and abducted people but he does not actually earn a living doing that, at least not always.
       This are really two versions of Bryan Mills presented to the viewer.

       The first one we meet is an elder Mills. He has put his time in with the Agency and chosen to retire. He could still be with that department of the government or he could be making very good money putting his talents on the civilian market but has chosen not to for the same reason he retired in the first place.
       Mills had been married to a woman he still loves, Lenore, and they had a child together both dote on, Kim. Mills' work and frequent and prolonged absences due to his job cost him the marriage and Lenore eventually married someone else. Regretting not being there for his daughter and wanting a chance of reconciliation with her, Mills left the CIA and got a safe, sedate job near her.
       That might have been the end of the story except for the kidnapping of Kim and the determined efforts of Mills to get her back. However, the violent actions needed to do that will create some nasty enemies which will return for revenge.
       Mills will need to show over again how dangerous he is and how good he can be at rescuing people who have been taken.

       The second one we meet is the much younger Mills. This is a former Special Forces operative who has a run-in with a powerful drug cartel leader which will cost the life of Mills' sister and forge his determination to get vengeance for her and to bring that leader to justice.
       Mills will be shown that doing it alone is suicide and that there was a team of hostage rescue personnel working for government that had a spot he would fit in wonderfully.
       Initially, Mills will demonstrate that he is very good at his newly found career but also rash and impetuous and thus prone to making mistakes. It will be a period of learning and maturing through the occasional failure and through successes that were not as good as they should have been.
       Eventually that team will fall into disfavor and Mills will join with another operative and a computer hack to work again with Christina Hart, the woman who had run the first team only to see it broken up. Mills will show that he is even better than he was but he is still prone to brash actions.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:3
First Appearance:2008
Last Appearance:2014

1 Taken Taken
Also known as 96 Hours, The Hostage
Director: Pierre Morel
Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Actors: Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, Maggie Grace as Kim, Famke Janssen as Lenore, Xander Berkeley as Stuart
Released: 2008

Kim, the 17-year-old daughter of former CIA agent Bryan Mills, is kidnapped right after arriving in Paris on vacation. She manages to get a call for help to her father. He quickly discovers she and her friend was snatched by Albanian sex traffickers. Using the skills he had learned with the Agency, he is determined to get her back.

2 Taken 2 Taken 2
Director: Oliver Megaton
Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Actors: Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, Maggie Grace as Kim, Famke Janssen as Lenore, Rade Serbedzija as Murad Krasniqi
Released: 2012

Bryan Mills invites his ex-wife Lenore and daughter Kim to travel to Istanbul with him on a short vacation. While there, the father of the Albanian gang leader Mills killed in the previous affair with them attacks them and kidnaps Mills and Lenore. Mills knows his only chance to save Lenore and himself is Kim.

3 Taken 3 Taken 3
Director: Oliver Megaton
Writers: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Actors: Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, Maggie Grace as Kim, Famke Janssen as Lenore, Forest Whitaker as Franck Dotzler
Released: 2014

Bryan Mills was thrilled that he and his ex-wife were working to get back together. When she is murdered by unknown assailants and Mills is framed for the crime, he must stay out of the reach of the local police, the FBI, and the CIA as he hunts down the real killers. His only real help is his daughter, Kim.

TELEVISION


Number of Episodes:26
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2018
Network:NBC

REGULAR CAST
Clive StandenBryan Mills [ 1-2 ]
Jennifer BealsChristina Hart [ 1-2 ]
Adam GoldbergHarden Kilroy [ 2 ]
Jessica CamachoSantana [ 2 ]

       The concept behind the television series is that 30 years before the events of the first movie, Bryan Mills and his sister Cali were on a train when Mills step in to stop what looks like a hit. His actions accidentally result in a very bad man killing his sister. Looking to find a way to get vengeance, he is offered a chance to join a crack CIA team.

       The first season follows Mills and his teammates on several exciting, action-filled missions. Mills is a very dedicated member but also still new and prone rash decisions.

       The second and last season has the team disbanded but the team leader, Christina Hart, is still active and pulls Mills in to join two other members of her impromptu team as they handle even more missions.

       The television series thus shows a youngish Mills' early days in the Agency while the movie series shows him much older and out of the business.
1 Pilot
Episode 1-01, first aired 02/27/2017
Director: Alex Graves
Writer: Alexander Cary

When Bryan Mills' sister is killed by cartel boss Carlos Mejia, Mills vows revenge and starts down that road. He is approached and offered a chance to work a covert government group.

2 Ready
Episode 1-02, first aired 03/06/2017
Director: Michael Offer
Writers: Alexander Cary, Joe Loya

It is the first mission that Bryan Mills takes part in with the team. Things go badly and one of the members is killed.

3 Off Side
Episode 1-03, first aired 03/13/2017
Director: Tim Matheson
Writers: Anthony Swofford, Wendy West

The team go on the hunt for a terrorist who has suddenly vanished and discover a plot inside the government to use him.

4 Mattie G.
Episode 1-04, first aired 03/20/2017
Director: Romeo Tirone
Writer: Marjorie David

Team member Riley is determined to find the truth about a drug given to war vets which turned out to be fatal. When her source's child is taken, Bryan Mills disobeys orders to get the child back.

5 A Clockwork Swiss
Episode 1-05, first aired 03/27/2017
Director: Clark Johnson
Writer: Jordan Hawley

Christina has the team take up a highly dangerous mission to break into a secure vault in Zurich to get back stolen sensitive information.

6 Hail Mary
Episode 1-06, first aired 04/03/2017
Director: Lexi Alexander
Writer: Mike Daniels

The team has the mission to help a Russian FSB agent defect but the man's pregnant girlfriend throws a wrench into the works.

7 Solo
Episode 1-07, first aired 04/10/2017
Director: Elodie Keene
Writers: Alexander Cary, Anthony Swofford

On a mission to stop drug lord Mejia weapons deal, Bryan Mills is taken prisoner by the cartel.

8 Leah
Episode 1-08, first aired 04/17/2017
Director: Bill Johnson
Writer: Wendy West

A Mossad agent and friend to Christina is attacked en route meeting her. She tells Christina that she believes her Iranian contact has vital intel but she also fears he was the one ordering the hit.

9 Gone
Episode 1-09, first aired 04/24/2017
Director: Romeo Tirone
Writer: Jordan Hawley

The team has captured Mejia but are ordered to hand him over to the FBI, certain that there is a plan by the cartel to attack and free him.

10 I Surrender
Episode 1-10, first aired 05/01/2017
Director: Holly Dale
Writer: Marjorie David

The FBI threatens to see Christina removed from her position and Bryan and teammate John go on a mission to capture Mejia henchmen heading to the border.

11 S.E.R.E.
Episode 2-01, first aired 01/12/2018
Director: Romeo Tirone
Writers: Greg Plageman, Tony Camerino

Bryan Mills has been languishing in a Mexican prison. He knows his only chance to escape rests with him but as he proceeds, he and a young girl are taken by smugglers

12 Quarry
Episode 2-02, first aired 01/19/2018
Director: Stephen Kay
Writer: Erik Mountain

Bryan Mills and a witness in a murder investigation are in a plane that crashes and it falls to Mills to use all his survival skills to get them to safety.

13 Hammurabi
Episode 2-03, first aired 01/26/2018
Director: Lukas Ettlin
Writer: Zak Schwartz

A laid-off employee has taken a successful accountant hostage and it is Bryan Mills' job to end the problem but that means making sure the kidnapper gets justice.

14 OPSEC
Episode 2-04, first aired 02/02/2018
Director: Sarah Pia Anderson
Writer: Aaron Carew

The nuclear football has been taken. Bryan Mills must get it back before it can fall into very bad hands.

15 Absalom
Episode 2-05, first aired 03/02/2018
Director: Romeo Tirone
Writer: Erik Mountain

A Turkish diplomat has started taking part in sex trafficking and Bryan Mills and his team are out to stop him.

16 Charm School
Episode 2-06, first aired 03/09/2018
Director: Michael Nankin
Writers: Karen Wyscarver, Sanford Golden

The wife of a U.S. senator has been taken. The first big job for Bryan Mills and team is to determine if it was a foreign government or someone she knows.

17 Invitation Only
Episode 2-07, first aired 03/16/2018
Director: T. J. Scott
Writer: Andy Callahan

Mills and Santana must sneak into North Korea to rescue an Israeli nuclear scientist who was taken nearly 30 years before.

18 Strelochnik
Episode 2-08, first aired 03/23/2018
Director: Elodie Kenne
Writer: Tony Camerino

Christina goes missing while on a solo mission to find the man who trained her, and then betrayed her. It is up to Mills and team to come to her aid.

19 Verum Nocet
Episode 2-09, first aired 03/30/2018
Director: Eduardo Sanchez
Writers: Karen Wyscarver, Sanford Golden

Christina must come up with a way to stop a journalist from leaking the names of government covert operatives.

20 All About Eve
Episode 2-10, first aired 04/06/2018
Director: Scott Peters
Writers: Brusta Brown, John Mitchell Todd

The taking of toxic seeds from a seed bank in Norway endangers crops all of the world unless Mills and team can stop the people who stole them.

21 Password
Episode 2-11, first aired 04/13/2018
Director: David Wellington
Writer: Andy Callahan

Mills and team have good reason to believe that the person accused of setting off a bomb is innocent. Proving it is a different matter.

22 Imperium
Episode 2-12, first aired 06/26/2018
Director: M. J. Bassett
Writers: Brusta Brown, John Mitchell Todd

Mills and team joins up with the FBI to locate a notorious weapons dealer who has snuck dangerous arms into the country.

23 ACGT
Episode 2-13, first aired 06/02/2018
Director: Bill Johnson
Writer: Nicole Demasi

A CIA analyst's son has been taken. To get him back, the team find assistance in another kidnapping victim.

24 Carapace
Episode 2-14, first aired 06/09/2018
Director: Ruba Nadda
Writer: Zak Schwartz

While Mills looks for a way to protect his cousin when that man is targeted by a crime syndicate. At the same time, Kilroy finds himself being blackmailed.

25 Render
Episode 2-15, first aired 06/23/2018
Director: Edward Ornelas
Writer: Eric Mountain

A government official stationed overseas learns that his daughter has been taken. Mills and team must get her back but a twist in the story crops up.

26 Viceroy
Episode 2-16, first aired 06/30/2018
Director: Chris Fisher
Writers: Greg Plageman (story and teleplay), Karen Wyscarver (teleplay), Sanford Golden (teleplay)

Mills and team must stop a man who plans to assassinate a senator as the first major step to start a war with terrorists.

PARODIES, SATIRES, AND PASTICHES

Number of Entries:13
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2015

1 Tooken Tooken
Contributors: Cameron Van Hoy (writer), John Asher (director and writer)
Copyright: 2015

In this parody movie, an ex-CIA agent now working as a mall security guard teams up with him mom, who was also an agent, to find who has been stealing items from him.

MY COMMENTS

       Obviously looking at the time line, the movies came first in our time but the television show came first in the Mills universe.

       Regarding the televison series, I enjoyed the first season's almost Mission Impossible feel of a team working together, and occasionally not, to achieve the desired goal. I like the teammates that Mills had but with such a large group, the chance for any to stand out was not there and since it was obvious that Mills was the central character, it had problems.
       The second season was, to me, far more enjoyable because there were less people. Mills was the star but his two coworkers, Santana (played by the extremely talented Jessica Camacho) and Kilroy (a computer geek and anarchist terrifically played by Adam Goldberg), were a lot of fun to follow.
       Jennifer Beals in both seasons was wonderful as always. I will watch her in anything.

       The movies were, to me, the heart of the series and Liam Neeson's portrayal of a Bryan Mills with his 'very particular set of skills' making him capable of backing up his 'I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you', well, was instantly iconic.
       The second movie was not as good as the first, but then they usually are not, and the third weaker still but both were fun to watch.
       I have watched the third movie twice, the second movie several times, and I lost count of the viewings of the first.

       Sorry about this but it is obvious that I am quite "taken" with this series.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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