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"Taken 2" Review

First of all, this should've been called Retaken, but since it's likely that most people would be too dense to recognize this as the sequel to the surprise hit Taken they went with Taken 2, which rhymes with Taken Too as in Taken Also which is the polite way of saying it's more of the same, but not as good.

This time it's Liam Neeson himself who is taken, along with ex-wife Famke Janssen, by the father of one of the redshirts Neeson killed in the first movie. He wants revenge and it falls to daughter Maggie Grace, herself hunted, to come to the rescue under the guidance of Dad. The one genuinely clever element is how Liam is able to guesstimate where he's held so that Maggie can come and find him. What's not so clever is how the streets of picturesque Istanbul go from crowded to deserted and the sequence where they crash a heavily-defended US Embassy checkpoint and somehow get to sit in their car forever without a hundred soldiers recreating the end of The Blues Brothers on them.

Some of the action staged by best-director-name-ever Oliver Megaton is effective, but too reliant on edit fu and ShakyCam® as well as the late Tony Scott's manipulation of color and speed. Liam growls, but it seems more because he's sleepy and making a movie for the money; Maggie is plucky and cute; but Famke's looking a little harsh for her age.

If you're hungry for more Taken, why not watch the original again?

Score: 5/10. Catch it on cable.


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