Taken 2: Film Review

The tides have changed in this second installment, as Kim is left to rescue her parents.

Since rescuing his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) from sex traffickers in Europe, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) has amended his relationship with estranged ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and is happily involved in his daughter’s life. After a working trip to Istanbul, Lenore and Kim meet Bryan out there. However, it soon becomes apparent that Bryan’s past has come back to haunt him, as Lenore and Bryan are kidnapped by the father of the kidnapper that Bryan killed when rescuing his daughter in Taken. It seems that Bryan has a lot of blood on his hands. In this action packed sequel the events take a turn, possibly for the worst, as Kim is left to rescue her parents.

With Taken having been such a huge success, this sequel had a lot to live up to and it seems that it was not able to cope with this amount of pressure. Liam Neeson’s deadly aim, monologue speeches about hunting the kidnappers down and killing them and the serious violence and torture that were all integral aspects of Taken have been lost in Taken 2. It seems in fact that this second installment is a lot milder and weaker than its predecessor, haven been given only a 12A certificate unlike the 15 that Taken was given. Taken 2 seems to have grown tired of the chase much like Bryan’s claim that he has grown tired of his work.

The fast editing techniques used by director Olivier Megaton leave many of the fight sequences looking fragmented and less realistic. This is an unfortunate outcome as this sequel had potential to be as epic as its predecessor, but the cars chase involving Kim, Bryan and the men out for revenge enforces the disappointment. Kim is at the wheel of the obviously tweaked Taxi and manages to drift around corners and escape the men chasing her despite the fact that she has not even passed her driving test yet.

This unrealistic action combined with the character of Lenore, who throughout the film is pretty much unconscious, makes the film irritating to watch. With so much potential, it feels as though Liam Neeson’s character has been let down. The narrative feels as though it has lost direction and focus, leaving the audience with a frustrating sequel to a fantastic gripping first film and, if this was not bad enough, at the end it seems as though the doors are being left open for a sequel. You would have thought that the Mill’s family would have learnt to holiday in England by now.

Taken 2 is overall disappointing for hardcore Taken fans, but it may still prove entertaining for an audience just seeking a thrill. The 12A certificate will determine to those that have not yet seen it that this film is not half as deadly as its predecessor.

Written by Shirley Welton (Shirley_welton), who also blogs at Beyond The Edges Of The Frame.

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