MOVIE REVIEW: This time it’s personal. “Taken 2” stars Liam Neeson (Non-Stop, Run All Night), Famke Janssen (X-Men, GoldenEye), Maggie Grace (Lost [TV series], Lockout), Rade Serbedzija (Mission: Impossible II, Snatch.), Leland Orser (Se7en, Independence Day), Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite, Men in Black), D.B. Sweeney (Dinosaur, Brother Bear), Olivier Rabourdin (Of Gods and Men, Midnight in Paris), and Luke Grimes (Fifty Shades of Grey, American Sniper). It is directed by Olivier Megaton (Colombiana, Transporter 3). Bryan Mills (Neeson) is back in action. After saving his daughter in the previous movie, Bryan has been connecting with his estranged family more, talking to his ex-wife, Lenore (Janssen), more and teaching his daughter Kim (Grace) how to drive. Because Lenore is going through a rough time in a separation with her now-husband, Bryan offers her and Kim to go to Istanbul with him so they can have family time when he gets done with a job. She accepts and they begin to have a fun time. But all of that soon changes. In Albania, a mafia leader by the name of Murad Krasniqi (Serbedzija) is planning revenge on Bryan after he killed his son and other family when he was trying to find his daughter in the first movie. Now that he has his plan, he goes to Istanbul and kidnaps Bryan and Lenore, hoping to kill Bryan and bring him back to Albania to show justice. It is up to Bryan to find his way out of his situation and save his ex-wife in the process.
With a premise so promising, this film could’ve been done a whole lot better. The story can go either way for me. In the beginning they try to establish where Bryan is at in life with his family which is actually a good beginning. I like it when films develop their characters, especially in sequels when they go further with them. It was an entertaining movie to watch throughout with great action sequences, but it didn’t feel climatic in any way the further you got into the movie. Before I touch up on that, I want to establish the other good thing about this movie, which is the acting. Liam Neeson is an awesome action hero and I enjoy see him take down thugs or bad guys any day. Everyone else did a great job with their performance as well. Now onto the plot. When I was talking about it being not so climatic, a main reason why that was is because of the fact that Neeson’s Bryan Mills is so good at his job that he doesn’t seem in danger for most of the movie. In the first “Taken”, you can see the pain and turmoil that Bryan was going through and he got beat up a lot in that movie. Now, it seems like Bryan is just taking his time and not worrying about a thing. I will say that there are some spots where you feel like he is in danger though, like one of the ending fight scene where he is fist fighting one guy and is getting knocked around (one of the best fights of the movie). In terms of serious cons other than the climatic thing, one that comes to mind is the villain. He was such a good villain in the beginning when they showed him wanting revenge, but at the ending he was a wimp. It was a great conversation that Bryan had with him at the end, but really, Murad (the villain) couldn’t do anything. Another con I had with this movie was how fast it went. I mean, I had to pause this film about ten times and yet it still felt short. I guess that will go along with how it wasn’t too climatic. Really, when you take a look at it in real time, it only took Bryan an hour or two to get out of the problem he was in. In “Taken” it took a couple of days. I felt that they could’ve made some sort of challenge for him that would be much harder to do. The last con I have with this film is the very ending. SPOILER AHEAD At the very ending of this film, they brush off all that happened and go back to being a happy family, even joking about killing people. It didn’t feel right with the tone of this film at all. DONE WITH SPOILER. Overall, this film is entertaining at first, but as I think about it more, the more pointless the movie actually is, making this a burnt fare. FINAL SCORE: 39%= Burnt Popcorn
The grade for this movie has been changed after the May 2015 movie rankings.
Here is the trailer: