It’s been a while since I’ve done a film review, to my readers I’m sorry for that, election season and all and I’ve had a lot to cover under my other hat here at examiner. Yesterday I went and saw Taken 2, the sequel to the thrilling and action packed Liam Neeson film of 2008. The second picks up not long after the first, introducing Marko from Tropoja’s father (Marko, if you remember, is the man who took Kim Mills- played by Maggie Grace- in the first Taken). The grief stricken father, played excellently by one of those actors you know, but you don’t know by name, Rade Serbedzija (Snatch, The Saint), vows revenge, or ‘justice’ as he calls it, on the man who killed so many Albanians in the first film. Enter Brian Mills (Liam Neeson).
There are a few questions that are present within the first 20 minutes or so of the film, such as how do they find out who Mills is? How do they discover that he is traveling to Istanbul, Turkey? Etc. But from there the film goes from 3rd gear to 5th gear rather smoothly. Unlike the first, Brian is seemingly in control of the situation throughout, displaying his expert skills in tradecraft, guns, hand to hand combat, and other “skills he has a acquired over a long career.” The action is right on par with the previous film, featuring fights, shootouts, and even a few explosions thrown in for good measure.
When Brian and his ex-wife are taken, it’s up to Brian to figure out how to survive. When he comes face to face with his enemy he shows no fear. It’s a pretty straightforward plot, Brian must rescue both himself and his ex-wife, keep his daughter safe (again), and stop the bad guys from pursuing their revenge. Aside from the simple plot, it’s a well presented story, well written by the ever talented Luc Besson (Taken, Leon: The Professional), and wonderfully directed by Oliver Megaton.
Aside from Neeson and Serbedzija, the roles of Brian’s ex-wife and daughter are again played by Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace. The acting is just as good as the first, and Neeson delivers the expected cold, professional, and very talented Brian from the first film. While it’s not as good as the first, hardly any sequel seems to live up to the first, it is still very well made nonetheless, and does a great job of entertaining. There were a few draw backs I noticed, especially when it comes to realism. Everything Neeson does is great, but some of the bad guys did do some pretty “Hollywood” kind of things with guns that irked me slightly, but these are minor (such as the bad guy who shoots a full auto weapon one handed around a corner in a way that would either force the gun from his hands or break his wrist) and can be overlooked in the bigger picture.
All in all, a highly entertaining movie worth the price of admission, and the ending does leave it open for a possibility of Taken 3. I give it a 9/10.