Taken (also titled 96 Hours and The Hostage) is a 2008 French English-language action-thriller film written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and directed by Pierre Morel. It stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Katie Cassidy, Leland Orser, and Holly Valance.
Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a former CIA operative who sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim (Grace) and her best friend Amanda (Cassidy) after the two girls are kidnapped by Albanian human traffickers while traveling in France during a vacation.
Taken was released in France on 27 February 2008 by EuropaCorp, and later in the United States on 30 January 2009 by 20th Century Fox. The movie grossed more than $226 million. Despite mixed reviews from critics, numerous media outlets cited the film as a turning point in Neeson’s career that redefined and transformed him to an action film star.
The first film in the Taken franchise, the film was followed by two sequels—Taken 2 and Taken 3—released in 2012 and 2014, respectively. A television series premiered in 2017 on NBC, with Clive Standen portraying a younger Bryan Mills. Former Green Beret and CIA officer Bryan Mills attempts to build a closer relationship with his 17-year-old daughter, Kim, who lives with her mother (his ex-wife) Lenore, and her wealthy stepfather, Stuart.
While overseeing security at a concert for pop star Sheerah, Bryan saves her from a knife-wielding attacker. Out of gratitude, Sheerah offers to have Kim assessed as a singer, which she first rebuffed when Bryan initially mentioned Kim’s ambition. Before Bryan can tell her about the offer, Kim asks him for permission to travel to Paris with her best friend, Amanda. He initially refuses, concerned about her safety, but eventually gives in. At the airport, Bryan learns that Kim lied; the girls are actually planning to follow U2 during their European tour.