Film Review: Taken 2

 

Liam Neeson in Taken 2

When the making of this film came to my attention, I first queried would the same basic idea work again? And more importantly is this guy really that unlucky? The past has seen some fantastic sequels like The Godfather 2 and The Empire Strike’s Back which have really been much bigger and bolder than the films that came before it.

It unfair to compare Taken to such epic sagas such as Star Wars and The Godfather trilogy, but Taken was a big film in its own right, seemly coming from nowhere, star Liam Neeson even admitted that he thought it would yet be another film that goes immediately to DVD, but it didn’t, the bone-crushing action captivated audiences all over the globe and gained many fans.

We open to sweeping helicopter shots of a hillside funereal for the men Bryan killed, presumably somewhere in the Middle East. After one of the murdered men’s father claims a vendetta against Bryan (Liam Neeson), we are transported across the globe to sunny Los Angles. There we meet our hero Bryan and the rest of the family for a few of the same mind-numbing minutes, which populated its original intent on showing the normality of this family.

After this awkwardness we travel to Istanbul were Bryan’s Ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) have traveled to meet him, after he has done a bit of business for a relaxing break. Little known to them that the men after Bryan are close by, throwing us back into the world of kidnap. But this time the tables are turned and it’s Bryan who needs rescuing.

That fan base that the original built up in 2008, will be sadden to hear that Taken 2 fails to go any bigger and become any better than the first film. Liam Neeson memorable “I will find you…” monologue is matched with a laughably comparison with a dog which is far less impactful.

The action in this sequel goes a miss, you are more aware that you are just watching a fight instead of being involved. Which the blame for can only fall at the feet of director Oliver Megaton, better known for films like Columbiana and Transporter 3, who takes over the reins from the director of the first film Pierre Morel. For me this film doesn’t have a plot line that really hooks me, instead it is simply a film about the hunter becoming the hunted which is nothing we haven’t seen before.

Director: Oliver Megaton
Cast: Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Liam Neeson, Luenell, Luke Grimes, Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija
Runtime: 90 min
Cert UK: 12A

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