‘Taken 2′ Movie Review

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‘Taken 2′ Movie Review by Mike Smith

What do you do after you’ve rescued your daughter from sex traffickers in Paris, killing pretty much everyone in your sight to do it? If you’re Brian Mills (Neeson), you give that same daughter driving lessons and worry about her new boyfriend. You also head to Istanbul for a few days work. But when the friends and family of the people you killed decide to exact a little revenge it might be hard to find a place to hide…even in Turkey!

Liam is back! And he’s bringing the family with him. Somehow inexplicably, four years ago Liam Neeson became an action hero. And he’s a great one because not only can he kick ass he can really act! Now back together in “Taken,” Neeson and his family find themselves wanted by the last Albanians still hanging out in the fertile crescent. And believe me, they’re pissed!

What was so enjoyable about the original “Taken” was that it was nothing but action, with only the slightest bit of dialogue to alert the audience about what was going to happen next. Here the plot drags immediately from the beginning because not only is Brian the subject of the Albanian gang’s rage, he’s also managed to conveniently take his daughter (Grace) and his ex-wife (Janssen – she and the new husband are now separated) across the world with him, making them as intriguing a victim as Brian himself. Besides this slight twist, the film plays out almost exactly as the first. Someone gets grabbed, Brian gets a phone call, Brian threatens caller. Seriously. The plot is so similar they should have called this one “Took,” because you’ve seen it all before. First the daughter needs driving lessons. Next time you see her, she’s Gene Hackman in “The French Connection,” maneuvering through the cobblestone streets like a pro. And why is it always the Albanians that cause trouble? In this film, Brian seems to have pissed off every Albanian on the planet except for Jim Belushi!

Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hr 31 mins
20th Century Fox


MEDIA MIKES
SCORE:  Film: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

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About the Author

- Mike A. Smith has been the film critic for the Leavenworth (Kansas) Times since 2002. He has also been the film critic and a featured writer (“Mike’s Rant”) for Nolan’s Pop Culture Review (www.crazedfanboy.com) for more then a decade. He is a weekly contributor to the RottenTomatoes web site and has recently had his reviews featured at www.moviehole.net. He currently serves as Vice President of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest professional film critics’ association in the United States. Smith resides in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The Mikes both cite “JAWS” as their favorite film and in fact first met at JAWSFest in 2005. They both are featured in the critically acclaimed documentary, “The Shark Is Still Working.”

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