Director: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and Maggie Grace
In 2008, Taken became a huge crowd pleaser and box office smash. With a modest budget of $25 million, it grossed over $200 million world wide. The movie about a father with a particular set of skills, rescuing his daughter, was a well crafted suspense story.
Olivier Megaton (Colombiana and Transporter 3)
has his highest profile job to date with
. Action sequels very rarely exceed the original. The story moves fast in this short action adventure, roughly 90 minutes long. The formula is exactly the same as the first film: a trip to an international destination, a kidnapping, and ass kickery. Regurgitating the successful formula of the original film will make a fast buck, but the quality will certainly diminsh. Remember how hard you laughed when you first saw
and then didn't laugh at the exact same jokes, told in a different city, in
The Hangover II
Liam Neeson (Schindler's List and
does just fine reprising his role but is
the benchmark? His intensity from the first film is missing the second time around.
Famke Janssen (X-Men Parts 1-3)
has an expanded role as Neeson's ex wife from the first fim. Neeson and Janssen are actually the ones taken in part two. Disappointingly, she is simply the helpless victim waiting to be rescued. For me, I am turned off by the helpless woman cliche.
Maggie Grace (Lockout),
the abducted daughter from part one, is actually the highlight in Taken 2. Her character gets to come full circle from victim to hero. After her parents are kidnapped in Istanbul, it is up to her to assist her dad in rescuing her mother.
The Bourne Supremacy
Lethal Weapon 2
are all examples of sequels that surpassed the original. Taken 2 will not be joining those ranks. But for those of you who love this series do not be disheartened. The door is wide open for Taken 3. I am a huge fan of Liam Neeson and his films. I just wasn't taken with this one.
score 5 out of 10