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 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 wife 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.