Taken: “Pilot” – Review

Taken premieres tonight, February 27th, 10pm on NBC.

Ever wondered how Bryan Mills got his famous “particular set of skills?” Well, apparently NBC executives did. In Taken, which serves as a prequel to the movie trilogy of the same name, viewers learn a lot more about the character made famous by Liam Neeson. While I enjoyed the movies for what they were (dumb popcorn flicks), I couldn’t help but wonder why this show was necessary. Especially with close to no action in the pilot, I struggled to find a reason to continue watching.

The pilot begins with Bryan and his sister Callie on a train, and the writers wasted no time jumping into an intense action scene that leaves Callie dead. Thus begins the overarching story of the first season; Who were the men on the train who shot Callie, and why is everyone so interested in Bryan? This hooked me, but the remaining half-hour was boring, to say the least.

Clive Standon does a fine job in the main role, though he’s nothing special. Despite the lack of significant star power, the main cast all did nicely. It especially helps that viewers who have no background in the films will have no problem understanding the plot here. In fact, having watched all three movies myself, I can vouch that it added almost nothing to the experience, except make me wish Liam Neeson was in the show.

Hopefully things will improve throughout the season, and Taken will be worth watching. As of now, it is simply too stale to recommend. This sounds shallow, but Taken is about violence and explosions. Without that, this adaptation will fail.

I give Taken‘s first episode a C.

Taken - Season Pilot