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Review: Taken 2

October 5, 2012

Taken 2

  • Starring:  Liam Neeson (Batman Begins), Famke Janssen (X-Men),  Maggie Grace (Lockout) and more.
  • Directed by: Olivier Megaton (Colombiana, Transporter 3)
  • Synopsis: “Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a particular set of skills who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from Albanian kidnappers. When the father of one of the kidnappers swears revenge, and takes Bryan and his wife hostage during their family vacation in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape, and uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one.” (-Collider)
  • Rated: Rated PG-13 for violence, some sensuality, intense action and mild language.
  • Trailer:

If Taken and Taken 2 were combined into one big movie, almost nothing would be remembered from the entire second half except, possibly, lackluster acting, ridiculous clichés, and the fact that if you ever run into Liam Neeson, be sure that, somewhere, he has his luggage that is full of grenades, guns, and other such destruction causing weaponry.

A film of revenge and relationships develops as this movie unfolds. This time it is a look at two daddies who are upset about what has happened to their kids. Bryan Mills (Neeson) is upset over what happened to his daughter Kim, and Murad Krasniqi (played by the familiar bad guy Rade Serbedzija) is upset that Mills killed his son when trying to rescue his daughter.

So…as expected, Mills invites his daughter and ex-wife on a trip to an area where the bad guys happen to be…and, of course, those who took before are seeking to retake once again. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near as exciting, exhilerating, or extra fun as the first. Forced to accept certain unplausible events, viewers may sit there in disbelief as much of the action revolves around Kim herself who, under the direction of her father, is able to pull of some stunts that almost no one ever could.

Taken 2 tries to revive the appeal of its predecessor and take audiences to the same level of enjoyment, yet it never quite reaches that level. There’s no impressive and memorable scene such as the phone call scene in the first one. Observe: 

EVERYONE remembers that scene! And if you like to think of Liam Neeson’s character in a good way…then just rewatch Taken and leave it at that.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh…but almost truly worthy. Taken 2 is not ALL bad. I mean, aside from some semi-amateurish acting (pointing at you Famke Janssen and others), ridiculously bad pacing in the beginning, somewhat outlandish navigation and map skills, no true buy in to the practically dialogue-free villains themselves, and events that lack explanation, Taken 2 at least has a few fight scenes that show that you still don’t want to mess with Liam Neeson, and it succeeds in keeping the same continuous cast as the previous film did. That’s a plus, right?

While Besson did not direct this film, I expected more…especially after the first one and considering the fact he wrote the screenplay. He takes us on less of an exciting trip than his fans deserved. With an highly unsatisfying and anti-climatic ending, I left the theater questioning why Neeson would sign up for a sequel to one of his most successful films if it didn’t quite meet up to par…then I remembered that he was in Battleship (and that the director also directed the terrible, or shall I just say, disappointing film Colombiana) and shrugged my shoulders as I left the movies.

Battleship Stank…and Sank!

Wish I could tell you that this one makes the mark, but it doesn’t. Taken 2 takes you nowhere but to the land of disappointing sequels once again.

Score:  1 out of 5 stars for Taken 2

Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

25 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2012 2:02 pm

    Not surprised. Was never excited for this one in the first place. Might as well be titled Taken 2 a Paycheck


    • October 6, 2012 11:22 am

      true statement Julian. I just wish that wasn’t the case


  2. Akka permalink
    October 5, 2012 2:05 pm

    A 1? Seems kind of drastic compared to some of the other films you’ve given higher scores to lol.


    • October 5, 2012 2:08 pm

      Haha. True, but not drastic I assure u. Each film goes through the number system…the numbers don’t lie. Ha. I wanted it to have a better score. It fell flat. Rather boring, unbelievable, and droll. Not up to par. Watch it and let’s compare notes. I think you may be of the same opinion. But if not, that’s a-ok too. 🙂


  3. October 5, 2012 2:07 pm

    This seems to be a trend w/ this film,


    • October 6, 2012 11:22 am

      sadly, it is


  4. October 5, 2012 6:56 pm

    1 Star>!? Oh no!
    I didnt realise they changed the director…


    • October 6, 2012 11:21 am

      yeah, they did. Even though Besson wrote both movies, each one has a different director


  5. October 6, 2012 8:59 am

    Its not a ten worst candidate, for me, but its definitely not worth recommending. Below average effort… and youre right, there’s a lot of times where the movie expects you to accept some really really stupid things.

    And I didnt.

    Im at more like a 2 than a one out of five, but we’re not far off, bud.


    • October 6, 2012 11:21 am

      We once again see eye to eye. I kept running through the numbers in my rating system hoping I could give it a better score…but the numbers didn’t work out that way and I had to stay true to the system.

      I really wanted to like it more. Oh well.


  6. October 7, 2012 9:11 pm

    Wow! Although I share the same views as u, I gave it a better score. 1 out of 5…thats damn near horrible. This movie wasn’t great at all, it rated as an “ok” in my book, which usually means Im “ok” with only seeing it once…lol. I think I gave it a higher score because I expected it to be bad 🙂


    • October 8, 2012 6:36 pm

      haha. Yeah, running through my rating system, it came out with a 1…It had potential, but didn’t meet up to it


    • October 8, 2012 6:36 pm

      haha. Yeah, running through my rating system, it came out with a 1…It had potential, but didn’t meet up to it


      • tajgreenemoviesinreview permalink
        October 9, 2012 9:59 am

        Your expectations must have been through the roof for u to come out with a rating of “1”…lol. My rating wasn’t that favorable either, but I have def seen alot worse


      • October 10, 2012 11:59 am

        I expected it to be like the first one…and it was far from it. too much ridiculousness to have to swallow.


      • tajgreenemoviesinreview permalink
        October 11, 2012 10:31 am

        Point blank…This sequel just wasn’t necessary. I expected it to be nothing like the first one because the surprises in the first would have been too hard to duplicate. I was just hoping it would be decent, but unfortunately it fell in line with all other mediocre action flicks…eh :/…But I will definitely say it wasn’t great, but didnt deserve a “1”! Thats just evil T…lol


      • October 15, 2012 11:08 am

        you’re right. it wasn’t necessary. But it’s because of the first one that I was expecting that or more from the second. That disappointment aside, the movie still wasn’t that good.

        hahahaha. 🙂


      • tajgreenemoviesinreview permalink
        October 15, 2012 11:31 am



  7. October 8, 2012 8:15 am

    Ah geez Liam… I somehow knew this would be awful. Well, let’s hope he really means it that he won’t be doing Taken 3, even though with $50 BO opening the studio surely will want to make more! 😦


    • October 8, 2012 6:30 pm

      I’ve heard tell that Liam has said there will be no Taken3…but, we’ve heard that type of promise before (i.e. There won’t be a Transformers4) ha



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