Taken 2 Review
Taken 2 takes place two years after the events that took place in the first film. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his ex-wife, Lenore (who are rekindling their relationship), are taken hostage by men whose family members were killed by Bryan in Paris. Now Bryan must enlist the help of his daughter, Kim, to save his and Lenore’s life.
Everyone was confused when ‘Taken 2′ was announced. No one was really sure how it could be done. I had extremely low expectations, but was somewhat surprised. This is how I’ll put it: Taken 2 is as good as it can be for being a sequel to a movie that had no chance of having a good sequel. It’s not as bad as you may think, but in no way does it compare to the first.
The problem with Taken 2 is that we don’t feel as much sympathy for Bryan. In the first, he was a desperate father who would do anything to get his daughter home safe. In this sequel, Bryan himself is taken. While we feel some amount of compassion for Kim, who is trying to save her parents, there is nothing as powerful as a parent trying to save their child.
Neeson himself does great, but his performance is not as strong as in the first. Famke Janssen, who plays Lenore, gets much more screen time in this, and her performance is pretty good. Maggie Grace (Kim), who also gets more screen time, does a better job than she did in ‘Taken’, but was not improved enough that her performance stood out.
Another weak point is the poorly filmed fight scenes. Instead of letting us see what is happening, director Olivier Megaton only lets us see extreme close-ups of the characters, accompanied by punching sounds and grunting. You’ll know that someone is getting the crap kicked out of them, but you might not know who.
Not everything about ‘Taken 2′ is bad though. There are some neat aspects, especially during one scene where Bryan is trying to pinpoint his exact location with the help of Kim. It was a little bit unbelievable, but I found it very interesting. Also, the main antagonist, played by Rade Serbedzija, was pretty frightening and effective in his role.
Overall, Taken 2 isn’t nearly as good as the first and doesn’t pull you in as quickly as ‘Taken’ did. The only reason to recommend seeing a movie like this in theaters would be the fight scenes, but since they are so weak, there is no need to see this in theaters. It’s worth maybe renting on DVD eventually if you’re bored, but I can’t say I highly recommend it.
However, whether you like the movie or not, you will definitely say afterwards, “I wish Liam Neeson was MY dad!”
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Written by: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace
Run Time: 1 Hour and 31 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality
My Rating: 5/10
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