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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Movie Review: Taken 2

Taken 2 (12a)
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace
Running time: 91mins

In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.

Standing over the graves of his family members killed by Bryan Mills (Neeson) in the first Taken movie, Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija) swears revenge for his family and their loss. He wants Bryan and his family to suffer and sets in motion his plan to kidnap Bryan, his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace).

Cut to Bryan and his family, Lenore (Janssen) and Kim (Grace) on holiday in Istanbul, where, without any time wasted, Krasniqi’s plan is put into motion. Caught up in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, Bryan and Lenore are taken, leaving Kim running for her life. Will she escape or share the same fate as her mother and father?

Taken 2 follows on directly from the events of Taken with athe burial in Albania, then transporting the viewer from LA to Istanbul. The returning actors fall easily back into their roles from the first film. This is not film for fans of interesting and conversing dialogue; this is an action film, pure and simple. All of the cast perform their scenes admirably, but it’s Liam Neeson as ex-CIA Bryan Mills that steals the show.

Much like John McClane in the Die Hard films, the audience has come to expect a certain amount of action, fight scenes and gun play. Fans will be pleased to hear Taken 2 does not disappoint. The fight scenes and car chases are meticulous in their planning and execution and viewers can appreciate the fast cuts in editing for incredibly well staged action pieces.

Sadly though, the film tries on one hand to be intelligent and realistic and yet falls down in simple plot holes and glaringly obvious inconsistencies. At times you have to suspend belief that while the main action is going on, the background may not be correct – for example, where are the police as grenades go off all over the place?

That said, the cinematography is superb as is the editing and soundtrack. Sadly the script is weak, but then again, why speak when bullets and fists can say so much more!

If it’s just a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller with great editing and good action scenes, then this is the film for you.

3 out of 5 Sheep 
Guest Reviewer: Big Phil from Following the Nerd


  1. Love me some Liam, just not sure if I want to watch this one. Seems like I've been there and done that. I may just wait for the dvd rental.

  2. I loved the first one. The thing is, in your review you say wife. Did they get remarried?

    1. you are right. They are divorced and working on getting back together. I will let the guys know over at Following the Nerd and fix it in the review...good catch!!

    2. The reason I thought of it was because I questioned it in the trailer when he said to them how he was glad that they came. I couldn't figure out why the new rich hubby was letting his wife visit her ex in a foriegn country.

    3. Well that husband didn't seem all that interesting of dude. I bet she left him and maybe was working something out with Liam. I would!

    4. Especially after he went all kick-ass and got their daughter back. I mean, it's implied that she left him because of job yet withought those skills he would have never gotten her back!

      I liked her better as Gene Grey. But then I'm an X-Men lover - movies and cartoons, not the comics. I never read them.

    5. Agreed on the X-Men comment. Named my son Logan for a reason! :)

      Liam is clearly the better choice here. Even if they up not rekindling some love I will pretend they knocked boots again. lol

  3. Thank you for sharing with us today. I for one totally anticipating watching this film for the action and shoot em' up. I loved the first movie and frankly never thought it was a opus of deep cinematic reflection LOL. I expect action and fun, perhaps a few thrills, feeling a need to release aggression, tears, and last but not least Liam Neeson (need I say more ;). Looks like this will fit the bill, but since 007 is on the horizon may just wait for this to come to DVD.