The Sequel to the Second Most Violent PG-13 Movie of All Time Gets an International Trailer
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The Sequel to the Second Most Violent PG-13 Movie of All Time Gets an International Trailer

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | June 21, 2012 | Comments ()


Every time I see marketing materials for Taken 2, I am reminded once again that the original Taken was preposterously a PG-13 film. Arguably, the only PG-13 film more violent than Taken is The Dark Knight. How does Taken escape an R-rating? A violent kidnapping. Set in the world of sex slavery and drug trafficking? Common sense media said it's only appropriate for kids aged 15 and up. Yet, it escaped because 1) it only used a couple of profanities, which are the real devil, and 2) Liam Neeson probably held a gun to the MPAA's head and yelled, "GIVE ME MY PG-13 RATING MOTHERBEEPERS."

Taken 2 has not yet been rated, but it looks equally violent and grim and kind of fantastic because, as far as escapist thrillers go, it's hard to beat the Taken formula. Will it escape the R-rating? Almost certainly.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Considering Mr Neeson got into the action movie genre late in life, he's completely believable as a kick ass hero, even if he is 60. A damn fine looking 60 at that.

  • kirbyjay

    Taken 4: A Ride
    I just watched that incredibly stupid wolf movie, and I will watch all of the Taken sequels because I would love Oskar Schindler even if he had a tiny cock, though a big one doesn't hurt ( I don't think).

  • BlackRabbit

    So it's Liam Neeson vs. the Dos Equis guy?

  • Guest

    he's like an aging wolverine

  • thaneofmemphis

    "Listen to me. Your second cousin on your mother's side is going to be taken. They are..."

    "You mean Bobby?"

    "No, the other one. They will..."


    "Dammit! I said listen to me!"

    TAKEN 7

    Coming in July 2018

  • So they just made the same movie over again? Except set it Turkey, so we Americans can tolerate darker skinned people being killed?

  • debbye

    I consider myself a pacifist and pro gun control, but I must admit I did a fist pump and I cried out with a hearty "Fuck Yeah!" every time Liam Neeson killed a sex trafficker. *shrug*

  • PaddyDog

    Liam Neeson probably held a gun to the MPAA’s head and yelled, “GIVE ME MY PG-13 RATING MOTHERBEEPERS.”

    I don't think he even needed a gun. If you've seen his stellar turn in the only bright spot in Life's Too Short, he really only needed to give the MPAA exec THAT LOOK.

  • Michael Meyer

    I don't understand why the first one was such a hit. I found it extremely far-fetched, implausible and with the WORST acting by the daughter from Lost. Liam is great but these movies are such cookie-cutter, big-budget lowest-common-denominator crowd pleasers, really such filler.

  • Guest

    ditto. it was kind of like a 90's van damme movie with more shooting and less kicking. but people talked about it like it was special.

  • Strand

    Yeah, but no-one really cared about the daughter. We watched it just so Liam Neeson could tear a bloody swathe through Paris.

    "these movies are such cookie-cutter, big-budget lowest-common-denominator crowd pleasers"

    Taken was apparently a $26 million movie. Aka less than Will Smiths' paycheque from MIB3 (or Adam Sandler's paycheque from... everything). While it's hardly an 'indie' project, it's certainly low budget as action movies go.

  • Michael Meyer

    ya, I just saw that on Wikipedia. Okay, so it wasn't a big-budget production. I guess they deserve credit for turning 26 million into a huge hit. I don't want to go back and watch it again in order to change my opinion though ;)

  • "I found it extremely far-fetched, implausible" You don't say?

  • Wembley

    Like ratings matter.
    I went to a 'R' Zombie pic (forget which, certainly deserved it), and when it was over, I noticed ahead of me a couple who had not only brought an infant (admittedly quiet for the whole movie) but a 3-4 year old. So if theaters just let children into the movie just because two idiots were able fuck their way into parenthood, but didn't want to pay a sitter, what does it matter if thirteen year olds here some words they already use in school and see the same images they see in their babysitting video games?

  • You should google how child soldiers are created to see why young minds shouldn't watch certain things before their brains are fully functional.
    Or ask that bus monitor lady.

  • Wembley

    I'm talking about how the ratings system is pointless if 4 year olds can be taken into R movies under ANY circumstances.

  • jannymac

    Taken 2? Taken 2 where?

  • TheAggroCraig

    Taken 2 The Bank after the opening weekend profits this will surely make.

  • Bert_McGurt

    The cleaners, obviously.

  • andrewsipe

    Taken 2... put a lot of thought into that title.

    Other's, but not necessarily better:

    Taken Again
    Taken Back
    Taken Over
    The Takening
    Shake and Take
    Liam Neeson's Bankroll

  • faranghese

    Shut Up and Take My Money

  • Guest

    Take My Wife

  • Bert_McGurt

    Don't forget the female-led reboot, Miss Taken.

  • Liam Neeson's kids college fund.

  • REL

    How could the producers not have named this in the same vein as "Step Up 2: The Streets?"

    Coming next year, Liam Neeson is TAKEN 2: THE EXTREME.
    This Thanksgiving, get ready to be TAKEN 2: THE MAXIMUM.
    This franchise will be TAKEN 2: A LOGICAL CONCLUSION.

    No charge.

  • faranghese

    Taken 2: The Cleaners

  • knightnday

    Taken 2: because Statham can't kill all the mooks

  • Slash

    Great, my brilliant comment got eaten by the filter again.

  • AngelenoEwok

    It's a day to day struggle.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Violence + Swearing + Sex AND Tits = R
    Violence +Swearing - F-bomb + Implied Sex - Tits = PG 13


  • Frank

    Things that are actually against the law somehow are not offensive in this country. However, certain combinations of consonants and vowels or uncovered human bodies must be regulated.

  • TheReinaG

    Why did Mario ever have to go save her when Princess Peach's dad was such a bad ass? Seriously, stop getting kidnapped already. Somehow the vast majority of the population avoids it once; you've got to be doing something wrong.

  • Slash

    At first I thought, "She gets sex slaved again? That's just sheer carelessness is what that is." Then I watch the trailer and I goes, "Oh, it's Taken: The Revengening," and it makes more sense. I will watch Neeson go medieval on sex traffickers' buttocks all day long.

  • dsoup

    I've Taken 2 loving u, Liam.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Wait, so his special set of skills include tracking people but he is surprised when his family shows up at his foreign hotel out the blue?

  • hapl0

    He's just being polite there.

  • googergieger

    " Arguably, the only PG-13 film more violent than Taken is The Dark Knight."

    Would love to hear that argument.

  • QueeferSutherland

    Which way you going here, that theres no doubt TDK was more violent, or that Taken is way more violent than TDK?

    Id make the case that Casino Royale should be in the conversation.

  • googergieger

    I guess if someone said Christian Bale's voice might just cause him to violently crap his pants or it has some more violent rubber suit action, you could make the argument for Dark Knight. But yeah, Dark Knight makes perfect sense as a pg-13 film. An argument could be made for Taken being given an R rating.

  • QueeferSutherland

    Yeah, Ill take the other side of this:

    TDKs central villain is a homicidal disfigured clown who, within the first five minutes, murders four people without pause. He slams someone's head through a pencil apparently to compensate for his shitty slight of hand abilities. Once caught, he sews a bomb inside someones chest (near the surface) and detonates it in order to escape. Oh, and he incinerates the hero's love explosion which also caused a main character to appear with half a face during the final third of the film.

    The overall tone was dark and realistic. The Joker and his tactics were terrifying, on purpose. Thats a far cry from traditional hyperstylized comic book violence and much more memorable that Neeson mowing down endless faceless bad guys -- something weve seen in scores of PG-13 action films.

  • googergieger

    Well no. Firstly he was a psychopath in clown make up. Not a clown. Not a Joker. Murders four people means eff all. Plenty of pg-13 movies have deaths. Pencil trick aside(which was probably the most violent thing SHOWN in the movie) it was all pretty mild. Realistic though? Really? Bat mask. Infinitely rich. Vigilante justice rocks! Bat tank. Sonar power. Etc. Realistic?! Problem with Nolan fan boys and fan boys of those movies in general. Anything can seem deep, memorable, powerful, or any and all positive words you can think of when stripped of context and hyped up to bejesus and back. Taken was forgetful fluff but it wasn't up its own arse. Sex trade, torture, etc. If Taken was given an R, no one would have questioned it. If Dark Knight was given an R, people would have to do a double take on scenes wondering if the violence not shown, was actually shown. While an argument can be made that Takashi Miike's bloodiest of bloodies more often than not has implied violence and Dark Knight could fall into that camp, the argument would be quickly shot down by doing a side by side comparison of Audition's foot cutting and Dark Knight's umm...what? Incineration?

  • Guest

    the pencil thing wasn't shown in any gory rated R sense of the term

  • QueeferSutherland

    Dark Knight would have been a surprising R because its a tentpole summer superhero movie. To pretend otherwise is disingenous.

    Taken was a fun but ultimately standard issue thriller with "superhuman protagonist" mowing down endless goons. TDK offered more disturbing violence. Forced to pick one for my nonexistent 13 year old kids to watch, I choose Taken.

    Agree to disagree i suppose.

  • googergieger

    Disingenuous? Incineration? Sewing a bomb into someone?! Because these things were actually shown right? Both were rather standard. People just weren't used to a super hero movie that took itself THAT seriously(the insane amount of hype behind it, didn't hurt either). Because you know, they shouldn't be. Shame more people don't realize it. Both movies had mild violence compared to your action violent movies. However where one dealt with sex trade, torture a dude to get information, take no prisoners, kill everything for my baby violence/story. The other was a man wearing a rubber suit with an infinite amount of money fighting a guy in clown make up trying to destroy a city, just because. See how easy it is to build something up and break something down? In any case I'll probably see Taken 2 before I see Dark Knight Rises. At least Taken was fun to watch. Then again I probably won't see either any time soon and just keep waiting on Stoker.

  • NateMan

    I find Taken to be both darker and more violent than TDK, if only because it's (somewhat) more believable. Women and girls are kidnapped, hooked on drugs, and forced into prostitution. True, it's rarely the rich American girls, and more true that their fathers aren't kick-ass special agents who can get them back, but the basic premise remains much more realistic.

  • QueeferSutherland

    It escaped the R rating because Neeson has a very particular set of skills.

  • Groundloop

    Also, if the rumour is true, a really big cock.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Did someone really downvote Neeson's big cock? Whose got a beef with his big cock?

    Is that you, Shia? Just because you have the facial hair of a homeless Obi Wan doesn't mean we want to see your puny light saber.

  • Oh, maybe Shia is a grower. It would be truly awful to be a bad actor and have a small cock. And to be remember for the Transformers movies. Of course, he got to put that puny thing in Megan Fox before she became a plastic surgery victim.

  • hapl0

    I'm screaming for joy inside because for once, just once, a sequel that actually continues the story without changing the actors or the feel of the story but then I remember creepy Lost girl and she's still here!

    Would have been perfect if they had skipped the phone conversation gimmick and adding 2 to the title when you could have gone with Retaken.

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