Taken 2 (2012)

Taken, released four years ago, was such a surprise hit that it’s (almost) natural for the filmmakers to think about doing a sequel. And a sequel, they did. Still written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, this time the film is directed by Olivier Megaton (what?), previously known for other action movies such as Colombiana and Transporter 3.

Bryan Mills is going to be in Istanbul for a job and he’s asking his daughter Kim and ex-wife Lenore to join him there. Six hundred miles from there, the head of the Albanian traffickers are seen burying the bodies of the men who Mills have killed in the previous movie, among the many corpses is his son’s. He then get a tip that Mills is currently in Istanbul with his family, and.. he wants revenge.

He sends all his men to Istanbul, to get Mills and his family alive. In an attempt to bring her parents back together again, Kim sends both of them to spend the day without her. Little does she know that they are going to get kidnapped. However, during the last few seconds before Mills gets tied and blindfolded by the mafia, he manages to call his daughter and tells her to hide. As anybody would guess, the rest is about Mills saving the day, but this time he’s got Kim to help him a little bit.

The idea of a sequel to Taken sounds ridiculous at first. I mean, we know somebody is going to get kidnapped, and that Liam Neeson will just shoot some bad guys and the kidnapped person is going to be saved. With Neeson, we know they’re going to be safe. Action-wise, I don’t think this movie is far behind its prequel. In fact, it’s got some good, smart, what-the-fuck-nobody-does-that action scenes. However, the premise is just worn out already. I don’t mind predictable storylines that much, actually, but this time it’s just hard not to ridicule it sometimes. And towards the end, there’s a sudden hand-to-hand combat that feels somewhat gimmicky and thus, laughable.

Aside from all the mocking, this is not exactly a bad movie. It’s still a rather enjoyable action movie and come on, it’s got Liam Neeson. I love how he’s re-established himself as an action movie badass. I loved The Grey and he’s so good at this new ‘role’ he’s playing. He’s certainly the one who carries this movie from beginning to end and it’s not such a bad thing to see him play the-most-badass-father-of-all-time. On the other hand, we see the Croatian Rade Serbedzija as foreign antagonists all the time that it has become sort of amusing. Not that he’s bad, of course, he’s effortlessly good at being the bad guy, but he just gets the same kind of role every single time.

The first movie was more packed, less silly, and it has one advantage–the element of surprise. We didn’t know what to expect and that made it all the more entertaining. Compared to it, the sequel is definitely inferior. As a standalone movie, it’s quite okay and action movie fans might like it. And people wanting to see Neeson kick some ass would surely enjoy it too. But gosh, Taken 3? Really?

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