10 Liam Neeson Action Roles We Can't Get Enough Of
Liam Neeson dabbles in different genres but seems to have really cornered the market on action. In some cases, the roles seem slightly similar, like a different iteration of Taken's Bryan Mills. But... we're not complaining. We like seeing Neeson up on the big screen, and while slightly formulaic, his performances are highly enjoyable.
He has a new movie coming out this week (October 16), Honest Thief, where he plays a career criminal, who wants to come clean to his new love interest. But, as somewhat expected, there's a flaw in his plan... and now he's on the run.
While we anticipate Neeson's new take on the trusted action role, let's take a peek at some of his earlier performances:
1. Taken (2008)
In 2008, we saw Neeson as Bryan Mills in the action thriller Taken. When his daughter travels to Paris, he calls her to check in. While on the phone, there's a home invasion. He talks her through it, saying, "They're going to take you." Mills being a former CIA agent, he knows what to expect. And he knows how to track the men who took his daughter.
2. Unknown (2011)
We then saw Neeson in 2011's Unknown. Neeson's character Dr. Martin Harris is in a car accident, and he wakes up in the hospital with no identification. He goes to find his wife (January Jones), and she claims he's a complete stranger. Her husband, Dr. Martin Harris (Aidan Quinn), then walks up. He needs to fight to get his identity back.
3. Taken 2 (2012)
Nope, you're not seeing double. Taken is on the list a second time, with Neeson returning for a sequel in 2012. He's back as Mills. His daughter has been freed from her captors. But, this time... his wife (Famke Janssen) is taken. What are the odds!? Slim to never, but in this scenario, it's revenge on Mills for the damage he did in the original.
4. Non-Stop (2014)
Neeson teamed up with Julianne Moore for 2014's Non-Stop. When on a transatlantic flight, his character begins getting alarming text messages. He's blackmailed into sending unknown hijackers $150 million dollars or they will kill a passenger every twenty minutes. Moore lands in the seat next to him, providing consult and support.
5. Taken 3 (2014)
Neeson had a third go as Mills in 2014's Taken 3. Who's going to be taken this time? There's really only one person left, which is Mills himself. When his wife is murdered in their home, it's believed Mills is the killer. The police try to take him in, but he fights them off. Now, he's on the run. While not taken straight away... that's the plan here.
6. Run All Night (2015)
In 2015, we saw Neeson as a hitman named Jimmy Conlon in Run All Night. When he walks in on his son being held at gunpoint, he shoots and kills the gunman, who happens to be the son of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris). Maguire is pissed and wants Conlon's son's life as consolation. Conlon works protect his son from what's coming.
7. The Commuter (2018)
In 2018's The Commuter we see Neeson as a businessman on a local train. We should mention, he's a former NYPD police officer (of course he is!). The woman sitting across from him (Vera Farmiga) informs him there's $25,000 in cash in the bathroom and it's his if he finds a man on the train for her. He just lost his job and is tempted by the offer.
8. Cold Pursuit (2019)
Neeson takes on the role of a snowplow driver in 2019's Cold Pursuit. Just a driver, not a former law enforcer. But, when his son is killed and it's staged as an overdose, he gangsters-up. His friend asks him how he'd know about killing someone, with him responding, "I read it in a novel." He does a pretty good job of it, being a layman and all.
9. Honest Thief (2020)
We'll be getting more of Neeson in this week's release of Honest Thief. He takes on the role of a bank robber, who turns himself into the FBI, as he wants to start a new life with his love interest (Kate Walsh). When the FBI come to collect the money he's stolen, they turn on him. And what do Tom and his lady friend do? They go on the run.
10. Memory (TBD)
While his next movie, Memory, is in pre-production, it is worth mentioning that Neeson has signed on for yet another action-thriller. There. Is. No. Stopping. Him. Memory is based off of the 2003 Belgian thriller, Memory of a Killer. Neeson takes on the role of an assassin who refuses to kill. His employer isn't happy and he becomes the target.
For anyone who might be tired of seeing Neeson in repeat, he doesn't seem all that bothered.
Should we have a week-long Liam Neeson marathon?