There are many elements that tie these films together, so we’re going to look at each of those and compare them! I chose this category because John Wick Chapter 2 comes out soon, and the IMDb rating as of now is at a 9.9/10… so why not give a little love to the action/revenge genre?!
In Taken, we have a story about a daughter who gets kidnapped, and a father who will go to no ends to get his daughter back. The story gives us the ultimate badass in Bryan Mills (I haven’t seen this film in four years and his name still gets me pumped), who has fists of steel and a heart of gold, and takes the audience on a wild ride of vengeance. In John Wick, we have a story about a man who loses his wife, but before she died, she got a puppy for John to give him company. So, this dog is the last thing that John has to remember his wife by… and things go south when his dog is killed by people trying to kill him. Now, we have a story about revenge and a character that reminds me of John McClane, and a movie that is just as thrilling as the best action films in existance. Which film has the better story? I’d have to lean with Taken as I find it much more endearing; Wick is more of a simple revenge tale, but in Taken, the stakes are high because he still has to rescue his daughter. Taken wins this round.
As mentioned, Bryan Mills and John Wick are both extremely tough and terrifying for antagonists, but why are they important? Mills is the only saving grace and only hope that is daughter has for surviving, or not living a completely shamful and worthless life. Wick is simply trying to get revenge for his dead wife and dog. Both of these characters are long-since retired muscle-men (body guard and hit man, respectively), and come out of retirement for the sole purpose of stopping the bad guys and returning to a normal life. Damn, I would pay great money to see these two fight, that’s for sure. But, who would I trust more to rescue me? That’s extremely hard. Mills was a bodyguard, so his job was to protect people; Wick was a hitman, so his job was to kill people. I think Wick would win in a fight, but I’d rather have Mills rescue me…. or would I? I think Wick would win if looking at skill with a gun, but I think it’s a tie if we look at motivation and depth, and character growth. I’ll give this one to John Wick by just a hair, and could easily argue with myself and choose Taken instead.
Well, shit. Now, we’re between a rock and a hard place. Honestly, the club scene in John Wick was one of the greatest action scenes I’ve ever seen, so that scene would win against all of the Taken films. That being said, the action in John Wick is fun… but not as intense and powerful as the action in Taken because the stakes are much higher, and we have a ticking clock against our hero. Bryan Mills has fleeting moments to rescue his daughter while John Wick has all the time in the world to kill all of the people that he wants to or that are killing him. He’ll stop when they’re dead, but Bryan Mills cannot stop until he and his daughter are safe, and she can’t live if he dies. Wick could die and nothing would change because he’s a man who has already lost everything, but Mills has everything to lose. The action for Taken is much more intense, but the action in John Wick is much more breathtaking. This totally depends on which you prefer watching, but I’m going to go with the emotionally charged Taken here!
Both films are two of the most surprisingly incredible action films to come out in the last decade, and each of these stand-alone as films that can rival classics such as Die Hard or First Blood. Today, we looked at which of these reigned supreme, and my vote goes for Taken, but which would you choose, and why? What aspects of these films would you analyze if you would compare them? Performances? Sequels? Cinematography? There are so many elements that make these films great, and I’d love to know what you think about them! Comment below and let’s chat! As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!