Neeson’s action sequel amps up the actionBy Rito P. Asilo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
WATCHING “Taken 2” is like seeing the same dog with a different collar—there’s nothing new but the leash: The action-packed sequel follows Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), his estranged wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), and their daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), on a trip to lovely Istanbul, one year after he rescued Kim from a prostitution ring in Paris.
This time, the party pooper is Murad Hoxha (Rade Šerbedija), the father of Bryan’s arch nemesis, Marko, who was killed in France. To avenge his son’s “embarrassing” death, Murad and his men go after Mills’ family but only manage to capture Bryan and Lenore.
With the help of cell phones, her dad’s methodical (and mathematical) mind, and his knowledge of explosives, Kim must track down her parents’ whereabouts and turn the tables on their captors before it’s too late!
The actioner’s predecessor—which had a budget of $25 million—surprised Tinseltown’s box-office prognosticators when it made a whopping $227-million take at the tills. So, to take advantage of the franchise’s money-making cachet, director Olivier Megaton (“Transporter 3”) follows the same adrenaline-drenched formula, and amps up the action in the hope of sustaining viewers’ interest.
For first-time viewers, “Taken 2” is a thrilling way to see gangsters with bad accents get their well-deserved comeuppance. However, for those who have “been there, seen that,” the movie is just another lazy way of making a quick buck.
Because of Neeson’s compelling presence, you’ll still root for Bryan as he figures a way out of serial life-and-death situations—but, how long will his luck last? And, who will the baddies kidnap next: Lenore’s neglectful, other ex-husband, Kim’s overly amorous boyfriend, her hefty driving instructor, the family pooch—or all of the above?
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