Taken 2: A Review

Liam Neeson and his particular set of skills are back in ‘Taken 2’

To say that “Taken 2” it’s “more of the same” would be a gross understatement.

Carbon copy is more like it. But then, there are quite a few differences between “Taken 2” and its predecessor. While Taken was far-fetched, it boasted the considerable claim of having turned the then 56-year-old Liam Neeson into an action star seemingly overnight. Taken 2, however, relies solely on our love of Neeson to carry it every single step of the way. Instead of being labeled as just far-fetched, this sequel falls into the realm of absurdity.

There couldn’t possibly be more plot holes, or a more glaring lack of logic throughout. What made the first so good was that it took a simple storyline, and totally got the audience on board; we never stopped feeling the urgency of the situation. Now, I still don’t buy that Bryan (Liam Neeson) would have ever, ever found his daughter in the Albanian sex ring she was kidnapped into. Not in a million years. But hey, that’s why we go to the movies, right? It’s pure escapism. In the case of “Taken,” it’s escapism that resulted in a truly stellar and memorable action flick. But when it comes to “Taken 2,” it’ll take some strong suspension of disbelief to get you on board – but surprisingly, if you’re a big enough fan of the original (and really, who else is seeing this but fans?), and you go in expecting the train wreck that this absolutely should be – I daresay you’ll come out of it rather entertained.

“Taken 2” opens with a funeral; the mass funeral for some of the Albanians that Bryan killed while searching for his daughter, to be exact. And now the families of the deceased want revenge. No matter that those men were kidnapping and selling women into sex slavery; their families are mourning and they want Bryan to feel their pain.

Cut back to Los Angeles. Now Bryan and his family are trying to get on with their lives. Kim (Maggie Grace) has a boyfriend and is working on finally getting her driver’s license. Kim’s mom, Lenore (Famke Janssen), is now separated from her second husband; and Bryan – well, he still has those particular set of skills, and he’s not afraid to use them. In an attempt to try and put their painful past behind them, Kim and Lenore join Bryan on a trip to Istanbul, where those seeking vengeance are waiting for them.

Even the most oblivious person could tell you that there’s absolutely no reason for “Taken 2” to exist. The plot is a mess, the dialogue is laughable, and Neeson never looks nearly as roughed up as he should considering what he’s been through…but really, it’s almost so bad it’s good. Watching Bryan call his daughter while multiple guns are being pointed at him – just to have him make another phone call that reminds everyone of their favorite scene from the first movie – and to have him utter the line: “Your mother and I…are going to be taken” (come on, you know they were just itching to force that title word in there!), is actually some nonsensical, silly fun. Throw in watching Kim jump from rooftop to rooftop while throwing grenades — and when a movie is as brazenly, in-your-face preposterous as that…can you really hate it as much as you probably should?

Rating: C

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