Monday, October 8, 2012

Taken 2

I must admit that, being a big fan of Taken in 2008, Taken 2 was one of my most highly anticipated films of the fall.  And, for the most part, the film lived up to my expectation. 

The story takes place the year following the original, when Bryan Mills’ (Liam Neeson) daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) has flunked her L.A. driver’s test for the second time.  This sets up a fabulous car chase later in the film, when Kim is forced to drive while she and her father flee the henchmen of Murad Krasniqi (Rade Serbedzija).  He is the father of Marko, who was responsible for Kim’s kidnapping in Taken and was killed by Mills.

In fact, Mills contributed generously to the depopulation of the small Albanian town of Tropojë where the sex traffickers came from.    

Murad has been searching for the man responsible for his son’s death over the past year and, having uncovered Mills’ identity, has ordered for him, his daughter and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) to be taken while they are all in Istanbul.  That’s the setup.  Go and enjoy the ride.
The film's only “problem” is that, in the original, we did not know what a tough character Bryan Mills was.  So, as the action rolled forward, there was a high degree of tension as to if he was going to get out of deadly situations.  Here, viewers of Taken know who he is and only wonder how fast he will get out of the situation and how many bad guys he will take down as he does.  This is not a fault of the film, it’s just how it is.

James Bond and other sequel heroes get around this situation by varying the villains.  Here, the villains are essentially the same as in the original film…same look, same family, same lack of honor. 

As an action film, I’m giving Taken 2 a 4+ out of 5.


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