Taken 2: Taken…Again

Taken 2: Taken...Again

William Voorhees, Staff Reporter

If you are an eastern European criminal, heed my warning: avoid Bryan Mills at all costs.  He cannot be killed by conventional weaponry.  If you kidnap anybody that he cares about, you will end up with a broken neck and/or a bullet in one of your vital organs.

Liam Neeson is back in the much anticipated sequel to 2008’s Taken.  Bryan Mills (Neeson) has to go to Istanbul for an assignment, but invites his daughter Kim and ex-wife Lenore to vacation with him after his job is done.  Things take a turn for the worst though, when Murad, father of one of the men Bryan killed in the first movie, begins his quest for vengeance by chasing down Bryan and Lenore, while having a couple of his men try to kidnap Kim.

The setting in Taken 2 (Istanbul) is a little bit of a contrast to the first film (France).  In France, Bryan did a lot of driving and covered a long distance to get to his daughter.  In Istanbul, there is less open space, so the plot never really leaves the city.

Taken 2 is similar to Taken in more than a few ways.  It starts off with a trip to Europe, but everything goes horribly wrong.  Kim has no idea how her father is going to accomplish what he has to, even though it has already been established that he has a particular set of skills from his work in the C.I.A.  While fighting, Bryan cannot be beaten by unnamed thugs of various eastern European descents.  Also, the plot is fairly predictable (after seeing the first film, that is).

Something comparable to the first movie that hasn’t gotten old is the intensity of the action sequences.  Every time Bryan throws a punch or fires a round off from his gun, it is not wasted.  It is almost surprising that the people he fights don’t just run away due to the extraordinary amount of men Bryan has killed.  The only bad part about these sequences is that sometimes they seem to be going a little too fast to be possible.  Most fight scenes are sped up a bit, but mix that with slightly erratic camera work and a couple of punches could fly right under your radar.

Besides the predictable plot and the sometimes nauseatingly fast action sequences, there aren’t really any more major problems in Taken 2.  One of the most annoying minor problems in the movie is the background music during the scenes that are supposed to be lighthearted.  Almost all of these songs are so unfitting, that it’s downright hilarious.  They should have substituted them with light piano melodies.

All in all, Taken 2 is a great movie.  It may be too predictable or go by too fast at times, but I don’t think anybody wants a slow, complex action movie.  Liam Neeson continues to prove himself as the amazing actor he is with the Taken series.

If you loved the first Taken, then you will think Taken 2 is just as good.