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Five Fatherly Roles of Liam Neeson

Writer: Casey Lee


Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills in "Taken" (2008).

According to the Internet, Liam Neeson is awesome and you must be mad to kidnap his family. Internet memes aside, this Irish actor did not find fame as a young actor but became one of the most versatile actors later in his career. It was not until he appeared as the Jedi Knight Qui Gon Jinn in "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" that people started taking recognition, but he has most probably already appeared in some of your favourite blockbusters -- whether he is kicking butt and taking names like he did in "Darkman" or commanded the screen in more drama-driven films like "Schindler's List".

Neeson is very well-known for his deep voice that can be both very assuring and deadly menacing at the same time, and this is most evident when he starred in "Taken" as he dishes out bloody retribution one by one on those who dared to kidnap his daughter.

As he takes on the role of family-loving ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills for "Taken 2", we find more roles where he plays a father figure to the main characters and give you even more reasons why you don't mess with Liam Neeson (when you kidnap his family).

Baron Godfrey in "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005)

Liam Neeson plays as Baron Godfrey of Ibelin in Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven", who is a crusader and also the father of the main character Balian the blacksmith (played by Orlando Bloom). Godfrey reveals himself to be the father of Balian earlier on in the movie and fails to convince his son to join him on the Crusade in Jerusalem. Despite a short screentime in the movie, Baron Godfrey anoints Balian to be a knight, naming him Balian of Ibelin, on his deathbed and has a pivotal role when entrusts him with the mission as a Crusader before he dies; setting into motion the rest of the events of "Kingdom of Heaven" as Balian travels to the Holy Land.

Peter in "The Other Man" (2008)

Liam Neeson stars in this little known thriller drama by Richard Eyres as Peter; a married software developer who believes that he has a happy marriage and a healthy relationship with his daughter. When his shoe designer wife Lisa (played by Laura Linney) dies from cancer, Peter's daughter Abigail (played by Romola Garai) discovers a mysterious note that contains the name of a lake in Milan. With the note as a clue, Peter soon discovers that his wife was having an affair with a man named Ralph (played by Antonio Banderas) and sets himself to find the man. When the two gentlemen coincidentally meet over several games of Chess in Milan, Peter slowly learns more about the details of his wife's affair and plans to seek painful revenge on the adulterer.

Zeus in "Clash of the Titans" (2010) & "Wrath of the Titans" (2012)

In "Clash of the Titans", Liam Neeson is the Greek God Zeus, who became the father of Perseus (Sam Worthington) when he impregnated the wife of King Acrisius as punishment for rebelling against the gods of Olympus. Perseus is survived despite his mother being executed and is raised to adulthood by foster parents. The relationship between father and son are tenuous, as Zeus does approach Perseus several times to offer him aid and even offered to elevate him into God-hood. This relationship continues in "Wrath of the Titans" when Perseus is forced to save Zeus from Ares and Hades, when Zeus is captured and drained of his powers to unleash the titan Kronos. Although Liam Neeson didn't survive in "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace", we are just glad that Liam Neeson had his Darth Vader moment with Luke Skywalker.

Admiral Shane in "Battleship" (2012)

In the 2012 Peter Berg's adaptation of the boardgame "Battleship", Taylor Kitsch plays a talented yet reckless Alex Hooper who wins the heart of a physical therapist Samantha Shane (Brooklyn Decker) with a chicken burrito when they meet at a bar. When it is time for Hooper, who became a low-ranked officer after enlisting in the US Navy, to ask for Samantha's hand in marriage, the arrogant little brat would have to come face-to-face with Liam Neeson's Admiral Shane; the man who commanded the entire US Navy fleet that was participating in the RIMPAC naval exercise. Although Admiral Shane had little screen time throughout the movie when his fleet is blocked out of the action by the alien's technological barrier, we can't think of anything scarier to kidnapping Liam Neeson's daughter than asking for her hand in marriage...and then he says: 'No' with a straight face.

Ra's al Ghul in "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012)

*MAJOR SPOILERS IF YOU HAD NOT WATCHED "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES". READERS' DISCRETION IS ADVISED*
Liam Neeson first appeared in Ra's al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins". He started out with the important role of training Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne to become Batman, although Wayne didn't buy into his philosophy that Gotham could not be saved. After an intermission when Batman has to deal with the maniacal threats of the Joker in "The Dark Knight", the ghost of Ra's al Ghul and his League of Shadows returns to haunt Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight Rises". After having his back broken by Bane (Tom Hardy) in the sewers and being thrown into the prison pit, hints started dropping that Bane could have been inflicting revenge on Batman for the destruction of the League of Shadows, and mostly likely his father Ra's al Ghul. While the audience held their breath as Wayne slowly learns about the origins of Bane that could explain everything, it was the ultimate revelation that Ra's al Ghul was not the father of Bane, but Talia (Marion Cotillard) was a shocker to those who hadn't seen it coming.

Cinema Online, 25 September 2012



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