Bring It On!
I really wanted to like Taken 2 as much as I have enjoyed the first Taken, which saw Liam Neeson prove himself to be quite the action hero, ploughing through almost three dozen thugs to get to his kidnapped daughter, played by Maggie Grace. That was four years ago, and every now and then I'd pop the DVD into the player just to watch his brand of justice dished out in no nonsense fashion. What more can a follow up film provide, even if it's written by the original scribes of Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and handled by the Europa Corp team?
Unfortunately, nothing much. Taken 2, other than the change of location from France to Turkey, didn't offer much to differentiate itself from its predecessor. Sure, it may have the entire family of Neeson's Bryan, daughter Kim and ex-wife Lonore put under the threat of a kidnap by the same group of thugs, now headed by Rade Serbedzija, seeking revenge for those who had been sent six feet under by Bryan, but ultimately, this rehash of a premise became one of the biggest albatrosses around Taken 2, for that sense of deja-vu, and an outcome you know has already been written in the stars.
While Besson and Kamen tried their hand at expanding the mythos, that became the more dramatic portions that opened the film, and for close to half an hour we're witnessing the all new family dynamics between the three, before the narrative shifted gear to dish out what everyone in the audience were waiting for. Unfortunately, under Olivier Megaton, the action sequences proved to be a little bit wanting, as he exposed his lack of experience in crafting proper fisticuffs, despite having Transporter 3 and Columbiana under his belt, and seemed more comfortable in letting Bryan wield a gun, and mowing down adversaries instead.
Chase sequences in Mercedes product placement vehicles also seemed like a walk in the park, with nary a sense of urgency in what could be an exciting cat and mouse chase, and you're left to rue the potential this film could have been. Instead it became a lot more interesting in poking fun at the film's movie logic, where extremely weak villains again prove to be nothing more than fodder for Bryan to plough through all over again. Bryan Mills explained at a point that he's tired, and frankly, in such a follow up, we know that we are too.
You can read my review of Taken 2 at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.