Taken 2 (2012)

“Don’t worry dad I’m coming to save you… Um… actually come get me I’m stuck!”

The description of this on my digital box sounded ridiculous. It seemed to indicate that this time Liam Neeson is taken captive and now with the roles reversed, his daughter has to save him. I had images in my mind of lots of kinetic acton and fast-cuts as his daughter kung-fu’ed her way through hundreds of henchmen. I had got it all wrong of course, although… ironically this would have been preferable to what actually happens.

The families of the gangsters Neeson killed in the first film want revenge (yes it already sounds stupid). They plan to capture Mills (Neeson) while he is working in Istanbul. Unfortunately for him but good for the bad guys : his wife and daughter have just arrived there to surprise him.

We know what is going to happen from the start of the film but the story seems to take an age before it gets to the point where the criminals try to take Neeson or his family. Then after this does happen, the film suffers from bad pacing and predictability which means that equivalent moments to the first film now seem less tense and exciting than they should. The sections where Liam Neeson’s daughter does play a role in helping to rescue him are actually some of the better and more tense moments. She does so as an ordinary person and as someone who is lacking his “particular skill set” and because of this you constantly worry about her ability and safety.

Taken was a film that didn’t need a sequel, it was refreshingly paired down, tense, dramatic, action-filled and did exactly what it set out to do. This sequel attempts to do the same but with a twist. Really though it’s exactly the same film but remade in a different location.. The end of Taken 2 is left open for a sequel – where the sons of these gangsters may now want revenge too. Meaning that Taken 3 could have an even dumber story than this one. Now that would be impressive. 4/10

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