“Listen to me carefully, Kim. Your mother is going to be taken… and people are going to come for you too.”
– Bryan Mills
After being blown away by Taken in theaters, I was very much worried when I heard about a sequel being made. Thinking about how well the original stood on its own, I thought, “How in the world are they going maintain the spirit of the original without feeling like the same old thing?”
When retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) goes on a business trip to Istanbul, he is surprised by the appearance of his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen). [At this time, it’s also important to mention that all three are on better terms than the beginning of Taken.]
This couldn’t come at a worse time, however, as a vengeful Albanian gang led by a father of the man responsible for his daughter’s abduction. [As seen in Taken] Once Bryan and Lenore are cornered, it’s up to the man with a “particular set of skills” to save his family from someone unexpected…
The movie was entertaining throughout. There is plenty of action and suspense to go around as it maintains the overall feel of Taken. Knowing what we now know about Bryan Mills sets up a ‘particular set of carefully-placed’ gags that’s on target.
The direction that these characters go was done well. As I said, while you’ve got your action, it was nice to see how far Bryan’s relationships with his family & friends; giving him his civilian life an added richness. The character development throughout Taken 2 (along with the first bit of the plot) really made it stand out from the first (in certain aspects).
The hints of familiarity within the plot, the little movie clichés & sometimes preachy dialogue didn’t bother me. My main issue with the movie was not so much happened during the movie, but at the very end. [Don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler. I hate spoilers.] In the closing title sequence, the song that was used to bring us to the closing credits was Alex Clare’s hit single “Too Close”.
This is nothing against the song. I actually happen to love it. But in the grand context of the movie, this song seems completely out of place. Now I’m not going to get on a soapbox over a song. However, this obvious & unnecessary show of pandering to the ‘target’ movie audience makes me fear for the sanctity of these movies.
Simply put: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Just give us a decent story with some character development & let Bryan Mills be Bryan Mills, [Like this film] and everything will fall into place.
Taken 2 is an action thrill ride that maintains much of the thrill of the movie preceding it while adding a level of heart to the film that was genuine. While it’s a movie where it’s a case of “what you see what you get”, it delivers to both fans and nonfans of Taken. If you are a fan of Taken or action movies, then this movie is a must see. A-
Fade to black…