Movie Review: TAKEN 2

Release date: October 5, 2012
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Screenplay by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Rating: PG-13; Running Time: 91 minutes

Some films simply don’t require a sequel: Bucky Larson, Jack and Jill, The Tourist and now Taken 2, or better yet, “Taken 2 the Cleaners,” in which a moviegoer and his cinematic cents are all too soon parted.

Though unintentional, the film laughably exploits the one compelling line from 2008′s Taken, in which seasoned CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) warns his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) over a cell phone, mere seconds prior to her abduction that, “You will be taken.” Here, trying to catch lightning a second time, the same scriptwriting team of Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen make the unfortunate decision to have Mr. Neeson utter a similar warning, once again to poor Kim, once again over a cell phone: “Your mother and I are about to be taken.” If and when we’re ever subject to a Taken 3, one can only assume that daughter Kim will have turned into an agoraphobic cell-a-phobic, a female Norman Bates if you will, curled up in a fetal position in a dark corner of a padded cell, spewing expletives about iPhones, tourism and oh, yes, daddy dearest.

This time around, Kim barely manages to evade capture while Bryan and his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) are abducted by those wild and wooly Albanians. It’s family ties all around, with the father of the prior film’s flesh trade trafficker bent on avenging his son’s death. Though Bryan attempts to explain his murderous actions, the Albanian kingpin Murad (Rade Serbedzija) doesn’t care to hear any excuses, no matter how defensible.


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