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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Movie Review: Taken 2

If you haven't caught it yet in theaters, Taken 2 proves without a shadow of a doubt that Liam Neeson is a badass, and he's a Box Office pull with a serious mean streak to boot. Almost a week since its release, it holds its own in numbers and figures. Here's a review if you need some thoughts on how this action-flick sequel performs, and special thanks again goes to 20th Century Fox and Ayala Cinemas for the screening!

*Review originally posted by Timzster in his blog

Movie: Taken 2

Release Date: October 3, 2012

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

Directed By: Olivier Megaton

No matter what role you place the Irish-born, Oscar nominated actor, Liam Neeson always retains his calm demeanor and won't-take-no-for-an-answer personality, which speaks high volumes for those watching his countless performances in the big screen. From the time I got to know him in Darkman and Schindler's List all the way to playing mentor roles in epic films like Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Batman Begins, Neeson's profound way of speaking and busting out some whoop ass clearly showed he was an actor of many talents.

Then Taken came along in 2008, and everything we knew about the actor up that point just went up a notch. Playing the role of an Ex-CIA agent who utilized his deadly skills and training to save his kidnapped daughter, Neeson proved in that film that he had still had the moves to be the center and star of his own action game. Relentless and willing to do whatever it takes to save his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), Bryan Mills literally plowed through the mean streets of Paris and adversity to take back his child from the dirty hands of human trafficking. He was successful... But peace can only last so much when there are consequences from your actions.

Taken 2 International Trailer

Taken 2 picks up a year after the events of the first film. Finally earning the trust of his Ex-Wife Lenore (Famke Jansen), Bryan Mills is content and reestablishing himself firmly in his daughter's life. Unfortunately, the men he killed to get Kim back also had families grieving for them, and the father of one of the kidnappers wants revenge. At a job in Istanbul, Bryan gets a surprise visit from Lenore and Kim. Unfortunately, the happy family vacation is cut short when Bryan and Lenore get taken, forcing the Ex-CIA agent to fight back with Kim's help and stop those threatening him and his loved ones once and for all.

Directed by Olivier Megaton of Colombiana, Hitman, and Transporter 3 fame, Taken 2 is a decent action-packed follow up that seeks to live up to the reputation and standards the first film set in. It does lack the brutality and intensity its predecessor clearly established with a relentless father hell bent on saving own flesh and blood. There's more running and chase sequences here, and Mills works more on a cooperative capacity with his daughter for the better part of the film before he goes solo in the final act. You can only do so much with a franchise, and having a sequel where the kidnappers' families go after your hero and his family in retaliation leaves an obvious air of predictability.

Overall, Taken 2 is a movie that injects a good amount of tension, adrenaline rush, and drama, and there's never a dull moment when Liam Neeson starts shooting the bad guys and taking names. His co-stars Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen (aka Jean Grey from the X-Men films) return as his family, and all of them reprise their roles well for the fact the film's story takes place after a year. This is a no-brainer action flick sequel at its finest, and I can guarantee you get your money's worth here for the hour-and-a-half you spend watching it.

Rating - 4/5

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