*** – (3 stars)
When the film Taken was released in the UK in 2008, while not being favoured by the critics, it was a big hit amongst many and was extremely successful in box office terms. Despite being relatively far-fetched, it was an entertaining thrill ride as we saw how far one father would go to save his daughter.
There was a lot of scepticism regarding the announcement that there was going to be a sequel released this autumn. Nevertheless, many would still rush to the cinema to see what former CIA agent Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) does best.
The story lies behind the family members of Mills’s victims, who want to seek revenge. Mills invites his daughter Kim and ex-wife Lenore to Turkey, where he and Lenore are captured by members of the group, led by Murad Krasniqi, played by Rade Serbedzija. It is then left to Kim, played by Maggie Grace, to find them, so Bryan can save Lenore and make sure he and his family are never bothered again.
While not being as good as the first film, Taken 2 was certainly entertaining. Liam Neeson portrays Mills as a fearless character, who shows no mercy for anyone who stands in his way. While his killing spree is less than what he achieved last time (a grand total of 32), he is a man you don’t want to cross swords with. Neeson has shown versatility in his acting as well as still being the “bad-ass of Hollywood”. I was impressed as well with Serbedzija, for he portrayed the villain extremely well and showed similarity to Mills as to what a father would do.
However, the originality is no longer there. The format, structure and plot were remarkably similar to those of the first film. Therefore, you can make comparisons with The Hangover Part II, which many would argue was just a repeat of the first film. This seems to be a problem now with movies – endless sequels and remakes are being made of franchises, which don’t need tampering with. While not official, there is a strong rumour that Taken 3 could be announced, which could be a film too many.
Overall, it is worth a watch if you were a fan of Taken. However, it doesn’t bode well since many of the concepts being released now have lost uniqueness.