Review: Taken 2

Taken 2 (2012)
90 minutes
Rated PG-13
Directed by Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

Grade:  C

Out of the blue, Taken has become a franchise because of the energy and the great action the first film contained. Unfortunately, the sequel is everything the original isn’t. Take practically the same premise, but with less action, less suspense, and less plot. This is Taken 2.

Bryan Mills is finishing up a security job in Istanbul when he’s accompanied by his ex-wife, Lenore (Janssen), and his daughter, Kim (Grace). Remember in Taken, when Mills went ape-shit on the guys responsible for trafficking his daughter? Well that guy got what he deserved, but his father is super pissed at Mills and promises revenge. For the majority of the film, Mills and Lenore are captured while Kim assists them to escape.

If you’re looking for a sequel as fun and intense as its original, Taken 2 is not your answer. It’s the Hangover Part 2 of current action franchises, but like both, if the money keeps rolling in then you can expect another sequel. I’m just worried for Liam Neeson’s well-being because throughout a handful of scenes, he simply looks too old to be running around and chopping down bad guys.

Just to clarify, Taken 2 isn’t a terrible action movie, it just falls short of the first one. In Taken, the stakes are higher and that makes the journey that much more meaningful.  Following Mills attempting to save his daughter while proving to his broken family that he can atone for the abandonment is a very good premise. But in Taken 2, Mills and the family are seemingly healed already. His fight to try and keep his family together is a lot less thrilling than his fight to prove to his family, and himself, that he still belongs.

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