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‘Taken 3’ Star Liam Neeson Framed for Murder in Film’s First Trailer (Video)

Maggie Grace and Forest Whitaker co-star in action-heavy franchise’s latest well-choreographed offering

Liam Neeson is a man on a different kind of mission in the first trailer for “Taken 3,” released Tuesday.

The action-heavy franchise has revolved its plots around freeing hostages from the grips of international criminals, but the latest installment focuses on Bryan’s (Neeson) attempt to clear his name of a crime he did not commit — the murder of his baby momma Lenore (Famke Janssen).

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The LAPD descends on him almost as soon as he stumbles across her dead body, but his super-spy skills take over and he’s able to flee the bloody scene. Soon enough, franchise newcomer Forest Whitaker, who plays the law enforcement officer charged with catching him, is hot on his trail.

“Listen kid, something terrible is going on,” Bryan tells his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). “Don’t trust anyone.” It’s just one of several ultra-dramatic phone conversations we see in the trailer, a verifiable trademark of the franchise.

Kim helps Bryan evade capture, but the trailer presents her role as less central and certainly less action-oriented than it was in “Taken 2.”

Finally Whitaker’s cop character gets Bryan on the phone near the trailer’s end: “If you go down this road, the LAPD, the FBI, the CIA — they’re all all going to come for you. They’ll find you, and they’ll stop you.”

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“Good luck,” Bryan responds into a phone of his own.

The script, penned by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, is two parts “The Fugitive” and one part every other action movie Neeson has starred in since revitalizing his career with action roles in 2008. Olivier Megaton directed the film, with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation distributing.

Watch the video above.

“Taken 3” hits theaters Jan. 9, 2015.