Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Written by: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace
In the opening scenes of Taken 2, we see a row of coffins being prepared for burial in Albania. These dead guys were also in the first film, taken out by the specially trained soldier-turned-bodyguard, Bryan Mills (Neeson),who stopped at nothing to find his kidnapped daughter. Starting most of his sentences with “Listen to me very carefully…” and finishing them with dead opponents, Bryan has a unique set of skills you don’t want to tangle with. Apparently, the father of one dead bad guy from Taken does, precipitating the need for a Taken 2 that covers much of the same ground as the first.
This time round Bryan is in Istanbul, trying to squeeze in some quality family time while working. The new foreign setting may present a lot of impressive options for chases and hidey holes, but much of the action takes place in dingy, dull locations and rooftops that feel pretty generic and unoriginal. In addition to this, the violence and action in Taken 2 is nowhere near as fun as Bryan’s anger-fueled pursuit in the first film. And without the great monologue we got over the phone last time, Taken 2 only has Liam Neeson himself to keep us watching. It’s a shame the writers didn’t give him better material.