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“Taken 2” Is A Thrilling Adrenaline Rush
Posted by LaDale Anderson on Oct 3, 2012 - 7:46:42 PM

HOLLYWOOD—Back in 2008, the action thriller “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, took audiences by surprise. It was clever, tense, and brought to light for some audiences the big business of sex trafficking. Four years later, we now have the sequel to that picture, “Taken 2.” 


Neeson reprises his role as retired CIA operative Bryan Mills who is on a trip to Istanbul when he receives a surprise visit from his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and ex-wife Lenore (Famke Jansen). Things are going well in the beginning, until Bryan realizes that he has a bounty out on him from Murad Hoxha (Rade Serbedzija) the head of the Albanian Mafia whose son was killed by Mills.


The picture does indeed follow the same formula as its predecessor, as it becomes a cat and mouse game for Mills to rescue his ex-wife who has been kidnapped. His daughter, Kim, is also on the run from ruthless suitors who are looking to make Mills pay for his actions. Neeson was born to play this role and it works so well because he does not come across as super human. He’s the guy next door; he just has extraordinary skills that might surprise most people. 

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) fights for his life in "Taken 2."


The film works because it presents a simple idea: how far would you go to protect the people that you love? In Mills’ case, he’s willing to be sacrificed, tortured, and travel miles to ensure the safe return of his loved ones. I also found it fascinating to watch Grace immerse herself in a more physical performance this time around. In the first film, she was the helpless woman waiting to be rescued. This time around, she’s fighting bad guys and assisting her father in locating her mother.


Another important aspect of the picture is the relationship between Kim, Lenore, and Bryan. At one point, they were a happy family, but that happiness was shattered by Mills’ job. Even though he and Lenore are no longer married, the audience has the sense that they long to be back together, to have that family unit. “Taken 2” is an action picture from start to finish. There are loads of gunfire, explosions, chase scenes (involving cars and people) and unbelievable fight sequences that I have yet to see in any other picture besides this franchise. The beatings that Bryan Mills enacts on his captors are vicious; the scary part is that most of the time he’s not even using a gun.


At moments, some of the dialogue in the picture is not as authentic as one would expect it to be.  It could have been a bit sharper or more polished script, but the storytelling aspect makes up for it. Does the picture present something new to the audience? Not really, but it’s entertaining to watch, which is key. “Taken 2” is without a doubt one of the most exciting action flicks that I’ve seen this year. It further reiterates that Liam Neeson is the new action hero. You don’t always have to be super athletic to be a hero; Neeson proves that the mind is just as powerful.


Cliffside Malibu




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