Film Review – Taken 2 (2012)

If there’s any family in the world who should consider staying at home for the family holidays and support the local economy it has to be the Mills family.Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills everyone’s favourite ex-CIA agent come over protective father with that infamous set of particular skills. Sadly no matter how skilful Mills maybe, unfortunately, the Taken 2 director doesn’t seem to possess the skill to create something truly memorable.

In Taken 2 Bryan Mills finds himself in Istanbul Turkey on a new security job whom he invites his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen), naive daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to join him. With the Mills family now reunited in Turkey they started to enjoy the sights of the city, however, Bryan starts to become aware they are been watched but who is watching them? As they attempt to flee they are Bryan and Lenore are taken by the surviving relatives of the Albanian kidnappers of Kim in the first film, who want revenge for the death of their loved ones. With Mummy and Daddy now captured it’s up to Kim to see if she possess those same sets as her father or does he possess an ‘extra skill’ up his sleeve to escape?

If you’re looking for much the same we saw in Taken, you’ll probably enjoy Taken 2 however if it’s something a little more progressive you’ll be like me severely disappointed.What we get here is a lazy half hearted lifeless film which has cash cow written all over it in the way The Hangover part 2 was the same making you really frustrated as well as annoyed. The biggest clue of this film been a cash cow is in its rating 12A downgraded from 15 rating which has been butchered, shredded and drained of all the visceral no holds barred violent film that made us love this film in the first place.

Let’s be honest no one expected Taken to be the surprise hit it became worldwide and we love the transformation of Liam Neeson into a solid action star too. Taken 2 has a similar plot to the first film but the sequel hasn’t progressed in any shape or form but the shape we expected the original to mould into before it was released. Due to the films poor ending Taken 2 becomes a dull, lifeless affair that doesn’t even crank it up to nearly half way through the film and when it does its tame, sanitised and very predictable.What also lets the film down is it’s sloppy script which does hit the father daughter relationship on the head showing Bryan is still the over protective father and Kim still a little naive but also trying to move on from her trauma, the crazy thing she’s meant to be 17 but in the real world Maggie Grace is 29! As for the bad guys so much for having been hell bent on revenge as the script seems to sidetrack the whole point of the film. They wanted revenge and all they did is make it easy for Bryan Mills to escape without using his particular skill set.

To show you how ridiculous dumb Taken 2 is, we see daddy’s little girl run along the roof tops of Istanbul throwing grenades like it’s a new fashion trend! We even get a musical homage to Drive as the film uses not just one but two songs from Cliff Martinez’s electronic soundtrack . I loved Taken and so did thousands more but thanks to the director or Transformer (Olivier Megaton,director in disguise) those guilty pleasures we adored in Taken have been lost and left lying on the editing floor.

★★| Paul Devine

Action, Thriller | USA, 2012 | 12A | 5th October 2012 (UK) |20th Century Fox Pictures | Dir.Olivier Megaton | Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Aclan Bates,Rade Serbedzija

Posted originally at The Peoples Movies | 4th October 2012

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