In TAKEN 2, the action moves to Istanbul, Turkey where an Albanian clan boss and his goons set out on a journey of revenge.
Because the head goon is the father of the kidnapper, and former head of a human trafficking ring, who was killed by Mills in the original movie at its Paris setting. The new movie begins at the burial of all the kidnappers killed by Mills.
Now Neeson’s Mills is on a very short, private three day security job for some rich sheik in Istanbul and invites his ex-wive Lenore (Famke Janssen) and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to join him for a few days of R&R in the exotic city. It’s also his way to distance Kim from her new boyfriend whom dad has just discovered.
The trip itself? A big mistake because the Albanian goons kidnap BOTH Mills and his ex-wife, leaving Kim now prominently involved in their escape plan.
“We will not rest until his blood flows.”
OK, just one. It’s a micro-cell phone which tele-guides the rescue action. That’s not to say that this sequel is tame. It’s actually bloody action and wild Mercedes-Benz versus BMW chases through the narrow streets of Istanbul.
Having said all that, I’m sorry to report that despite a probably much bigger production budget, the new movie doesn’t carry the charm, if you will, of the original. If TAKEN was an A-production than TAKEN 2 plays more like a B-movie by comparison. Kicking ass for sure and taking no prisoners, but pretty well playing it by the numbers.
“I killed your son because he kidnapped my daughter.”
Come to think of it, TAKEN 2 seems more like a remake instead of a sequel.
Yet this formula action-thriller should have anxious fans awaiting it. And by and large the movie’s core audience will come away satisfied.
That’s why I’m reluctantly raising 3 out of 5 predictable fingers for this hour and a half of being TAKEN AGAIN—a.k.a. TAKEN 2.
Or in Bryan Mills’ words: “I’m tired of it all.”