Film Review: TAKEN 2 - Directed by Olivier Megaton, Written by Luc Besson. Starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
THEY ARE BACK for revenge…..
Liam Neeson has returned in this action sequel as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA Agent who stopped at nothing to rescue his kidnapped daughter in Paris, Kim (Maggie Grace – Lost and Lockout) from a corrupt group of Albanians in the original Taken film.
This time the tables have turned when Marko from Tropoje (Rade Serbedzija – Mission Impossible 2 and Snatch), the father of one of the kidnappers, is now seeking revenge and will not stop until he has captured Mills and his family and returned to Tropoje where they will avenge the families of the dead.
The sequel's twist is that Bryan Mills is the one who is taken, along with ex-wife Lenor (Famke Janssen – X-Men and Goldeneye). Kim has to rescue her mother and father after their kidnapping by the Albanians from the streets of Istanbul during a family break. Mills guides his daughter to their rescue with his brilliant use of ‘special skills’, spectacular car chases and the classic 10-men-against-1 fight scenes.
Taken 2 has received mixed reviews with some arguing it is exactly the same plot to the original movie. Certainly, fans who enjoyed the first Taken and are looking for more of the same, will be disappointed.
The rating for Taken 2 as 12A has meant that the action scenes and violence have been edited compared to the original, which was rated as 15 in the UK. This has affected the action scenes dramatically with more bullets being fired through walls than Albanians! The fight sequences are less violent, even the use of putting a gun to the head of a teddy bear owned by the children of a bent French policeman in order to get him to confess Bryan Mills' location was almost comical.
With the rating being reduced to 12A, the audience does need to use their imaginations as the graphic scenes have been drastically edited. Especially when Lenor supposedly recieves a life threatening cut to the throat, which we don’t see, and then is hung upside down to bleed to death - without a single drop of blood!
If this were a stand alone film rather than a sequel, it would have been brilliant, however, as a Taken fan, I expected more of the same high suspense, twists, violent fight sequences and unforgetable lines such as the "I will find you and I will kill you" speech. Although I did enjoy 90 minutes of predictable, cat and mouse action, it was more like the old Bond films, where the storyline involved a few fight scenes, a bit of comedy thrown in here and there and he always gets the girl in the end. Of course the finale of this movie leaves it open to a trilogy, however, I'm not so sure that a third offering could rake in the £6.2 million that Taken 2 earned on its opening weekend.
Taken 2? It needed to be taken back to the drawing board.