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Taken 2

2012-10-11 12:15
 
Taken 2
What it's about:

While finishing off an assignment in Istanbul, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) invites his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen), who is having problems with her new husband, and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to spend some time with him and enjoy a vacation. But the family of some of the men Bryan killed while trying to rescue Kim in the first movie have other plans.

What we thought:


The existence of Taken 2 does beg the obvious question: How could the family of a highly skilled military man, who have just endured the most harrowing episode of their lives, possibly find themselves in the same hole shortly after?

In fact, how or why would Bryan, shown to be so overprotective towards his recently kidnapped daughter back in Los Angeles, even invite her and her mother to a strange city?

Sure, the premise is as sketchy as they come and doesn't make any attempts to dress mutton as lamb. This is called Taken 2, of course - not The Hangover Gets Seriously Out of Hand. Pretty much the same variety of predicament is going to force hardcore Liam Neeson to exact some even more hardcore force against a bunch of baddies whose revenge mission seems particularly boneheaded considering they're very aware of the type of tough guy they're going up against.

Grizzled Croation actor Rade Serbedzija, Hollywood's go-to guy for playing Eastern European/Russian baddies in everything from 24 to X-Men First Class, gets the unenviable task of playing vengeful villain Murad Krasniqi, the Albanian father of one of the men who suffered a particularly gnarly death at the hands of ex-CIA agent Bryan.

With nothing but grief in his heart and an unreliable band of tracksuit-donning expendables at his side, he sets out on his mission to Istanbul to capture the whole Mills family. But one of them manages to evade the would-be kidnappers, and funnily enough its still-teenaged Kim Mills herself. 

And here is where Taken 2, co-written as with the first movie by Luc Besson, goes balls-to-the-wall crazy, throwing all pretence of logic and reason out the window. As Bryan and Lenore find themselves holed up in an undisclosed hovel, it's up to Kim to save the day, thanks to her father's guidance and strange new tech toys.

Partly an attempt to redeem Kim as a smarter and braver version of the snivelling damsel in distress we found ourselves caring about in the first movie only because her father was so awesome, Taken 2's plot plays out like an extended joke, peppered with all the bare-fisted fights, chokeholds and explosions we'd come to expect. We all know how this is going to end, might as well enjoy the random bloodshed.

In the early LA scenes we learn that Kim is still a cautious learner driver, but when required to elude the baddies in hot pursuit in Istanbul, she is overcome by the spirit of Jason Bourne while racing through the narrow, cobbled streets in a big yellow taxi. And she's now an expert at launching grenades in a densely populated city.

Liam Neeson, at 60, still looks agile enough to kill with his pinkie, and it's still a massive thrill to watch his paranoid and tactical mind at work as he rasps calm threats to his enemies – but he recovers slower from the blows this time around, even though his opponents are useless compared to the sex traffickers he killed so spectacularly in Taken.

The first movie worked because it was such a exciting surprise, and proved a box office hit. Now it's very clearly a formula that must be adhered to at all costs, regardless of the toothless new villain and a fast decreasing rate of return for the viewer.

But at just over 90 minutes, director Olivier Megaton (taking over from the more deft Pierre Morel) knows better than to keep the circus in town for too long and stages enough hard-hitting action scenes to keep you entertained and gasping in delight at the sheer absurdity of it all.

And if they follow through on that threat of a Taken 3, then Bryan Mills might have to consider outsourcing.


Why would anyone want to kidnap Liam Neeson and his family again?

Read more on:    liam neeson  |  luc besson  |  taken 2  |  movies  |  celebrities
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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Renee 2012-10-11 12:45 PM
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Hilarious review, no I HAVE to watch the movie.
Margaret 2012-10-15 11:53 AM
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Did this person doing the review see the movie? It's awesome. You know that Liam Neeson's character is going to win 'cause thatis what heros do. The movie house was so packed I had difficulty getting a seat 30 mins before the show started. A sell out movie is not was he reviewed. Maybe he needs a new job.
John-Martin 2012-10-16 12:15 PM
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It was ok.
movie bof 2012-10-16 04:52 PM
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Margaret the reviewer is a women you pimple popping volcanic twit.
Arlene 2012-10-22 02:55 PM
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This was a good action/thriller and Liamson is always good to watch
Clint Miller 2012-11-06 01:23 PM
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Excellent Movie, just as good as the first one.
vasti 2013-01-04 08:44 AM
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excellent
David le Roux 2013-02-28 08:34 AM
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Since watching Taken, I have been a massive 'action' fan of Liam Neeson with his no fear attitude and quick thinking problem solver. As a father, I can relate and understand where his 'never say die' attitude comes from and what fuels his energy & anger towards the people harming his family. I must say that, generally in the movie business, the sequals are never worth the watch, but Taken 2 came close to its sister movie. What I love about the cinematography is the rawness & realistic approach, just like the Bourne Franchise, you feel like you're in the middle of the action. The only thing missing is the smell of the sweat, blood & dust. I would recommend this movie to any action junky. If you have watched the first movie, then this is a must see!
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