‘TAKEN 2’ (2012)

October 12, 2012 12 Comments

When news broke that filmmakers had a script for a sequel to the 2008 hit Taken, it made me happy. Little did I realize how wrong I was about the thriller that not only gave its audience a noble hero and fabulous action sequences, but also nuances of truth.

Taken 2 (2012) Film Review

Time passes and Kim (Maggie Grace) tries to figure out how to be “normal” after nearly being sold into a high-class sex trafficking ring. She doesn’t have a clue how to go about it but her definition doesn’t include her ex-CIA father, Bryan (Liam Neeson) showing up on her boyfriend’s doorstep demanding she keep their weekly driving lesson. Soon Bryan’s attentions shift to his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), who is separating from her wealthy husband.

‘TAKEN 2’ (2012). Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills in this sequel where he must rescue his ex-wife. Text © Rissi JC

On a whim, Bryan invites his ex and daughter to join him in Istanbul. He has a three-day job working security but after that, he plans to enjoy some relaxing sight-seeing. Lenore and Kim surprise Bryan and the three of them enjoy a wonderful escape from worry over divorce proceedings. Only then, the same men Bryan hunted in his search for Kim, capture Lenore. To protect her, he surrenders, but not before he makes a call to Kim.

Writing a sequel to something that does well in theaters can be something that conforms to its “parent” title. Most of the time, writer’s fall into a trap of essentially writing a different scenario of the first film. Legitimately this is true of this follow-up. I cannot speak for how everyone will react, but this movie is equally as dynamic as the first; I may like it a little more than its predecessor. Maybe. What this does lack is the same emotional impact because in essence, it’s not as emotionally unstable. Not counting the possibility of making you dizzy, the opening titles and first few minutes is good.

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The film not only sets up to be a “new” story but mostly it’s a snazzy re-cap of what happens in Taken without boring us with all the minuscule details. There’s some fantastically good breath-catching scenes (no hint of bad special effects here) epitomize the phrase, “only at the movies,” but it does nothing to distort our anxiety that everything will end well. Fortunately, it does. 

‘TAKEN 2’ (2012). Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills in this sequel where he must rescue his ex-wife. Text © Rissi JC

So much about Taken 2 is worth rooting for. There isn’t as much of a heart-tugging relationship between Kim but Bryan’s sole purpose is still to see she’s safe. A wise choice in the script as the poor girl has already been through more than any teenager should. Two of my favorite scenes are the car chase and seeing Kim channeling her inner Jason Bourne, and really, it was awesome as she leaps from rooftops and becomes less of a happy-go-lucky girl and one bent on seeing her parent’s safe return.

I empathize with the character of Kim in her bid to start over. Again Grace does a great job with Kim, tapering her giggly happiness (understandably). The one actor who never disappoints, Neeson again makes us applaud his actions and wish that more heroes were as upstanding as Bryan Mills. By the time you walk out of the theater, you may wear a silly smile but you sure won’t feel disappointed.

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You can find Taken 2 digitally on Amazon Video

Content: Dozens of men die in various ways, by every means possible from gunshot wounds to getting their necks snapped; the climax scene is perhaps the most intense as Bryan engages in his final fight and both men are beaten badly. Lenore is cut and chained up. There is one car chase sequence that is the standard barrage of flipping cars, explosions and the like. Profanity consists of several uses of sh*t and other commonplace profanities. Kim is seen making out with her boyfriend [his hand travels up her blouse and he fiddles with the tie of it]. The rating is PG13

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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12 Comments

  • Rosie October 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Hm… I'm thinking I may rent Taken then maybe see Taken 2. :)

  • Dan O. October 12, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Great review Rissi. Loud, dumb, and idiotic, but also a bunch of fun if you love seeing Neeson run around, shooting, driving, and killing anybody that gets in his way. Can’t say I loved it, but I had a good time with it.

  • Anonymous October 12, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    oh I cannot wait to see Taken 2!!

  • Chelsea October 12, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Hmmm maybe I'll see this movie.

  • Heather October 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    I've heard a lot about the first movie…I didn't know it has been out since 2008 though…wow…where was I for the last few years?

  • Rissi October 13, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Rosie – the first film in this franchise was one of the BEST action flicks ever. Still to this day I think it's fantastic. The sequel is far from a new concept but is equally as good. Hope you enjoy if you see them. :-)

    Dan – thank you. I didn't think this was idiotic or dumb but yes, it certainly could have concocted a bit more original plot. That being said, Liam Neeson does a pretty good job at convincing us that he knows what he's doing with those cool toys. :-)

    Thanks so much for dropping by again – do so anytime.

    Jessica – yay! Another fan. :-) Enjoy!

    Chelsea – if you like action flicks with more "heart" to them, then you'd like this franchise. It's quite good. :-)

    Heather – I know! I had it listed as 2009 at first until I double-checked and saw it was really from a year prior. Gosh, but time goes fast – that is the bad thing about sequels, all that time before we get to see it!

    The first movie was really fantastic as was the second but its emotional impact isn't as great. The good thing is that the cast is back which always makes for a smoother transition.

    Thank you all for stopping by! I really appreciate it – please visit again anytime. :-)

  • Anonymous October 15, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    Hey! Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, I cannot see this movie because I saw the first one and hated it (I can deal with haunted houses and ghosts, but when it comes to sex trading and rape, I want to punch every single man that has ever existed across the face), I'm very opinionated :P haha which is usually not a good thing, but anyway, still a great review! :)
    Juliet

  • Rissi October 16, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    This sequel has nothing to do with sex trafficking crimes – or not like the first. The people who are kidnapped this go round is for revenge and nothing else. As a kid I was petrified of mysteries so I think if something frightens you – in entertainment, it's not worth watching. :-)

    Thank you for reading – and stopping by, Juliet!

  • maria December 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I just accidentally said on rafflecopter that I commented on another one of your posts. Oops! (I'm seriously technologically challenged. ;)) Oh well, I was going to comment here anyway…I really want to see this movie. Partially because I love Liam Neeson SO MUCH, but also cause I love action movies. I've seen the trailer for this and it looks fantastic! :)

    • Rissi December 15, 2012 at 9:42 PM

      Ah! That's okay, Maria – you remembered. Aren't we all technologically challenged!? I know I am. ;D

      Hope you enjoy this one – it's quite good!

  • […] Movie, wow you were good! I wasn’t sure Liam Neeson could give more to his role as Bryan Mills but HE […]

  • […] FILM REVIEW | ‘TAKEN 2’ (2012) […]

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