When Taken came out in 2008 it was a movie that my wife and I loved. For me it brought back memories of classic Eastwood and Bronson, but with more plot development and bigger stunts. Taken also had an artsy vibe to it that legitimized it as more than an action movie.
Taken 2 takes a very similar path to Taken. Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is involved in his daughter’s life, this time it’s her learning how to drive. Lenore (Famke Janssen) is separated from the guy that she was involved with in the first movie. Meanwhile, over in Albania, the father of one of the poor souls in Taken is planning revenge on the man who caused all of this. Now if only Bryan wasn’t planning a trip to Istanbul next week.
There are aspects of the plot that you shouldn’t question, specifically the fact that Kim (Maggie Grace-a woman who is 29) doesn’t have her driver’s license yet. Do not question the age or casting implications, just sit back and wait for Bryan Mills to arrive in Istanbul and fight some bad guys, which happen at about 25 minutes in.
Taken 2 is not as good as Taken. One thing that brought so much tension to the first movie was the relentless pursuit Mills had in finding his daughter. By the time he finally found that terrorists that had taken her you wanted to help him hurt them too. It’s the same feeling that the really good Eastwood movies brought you-feel good, vengeance.
There is less tension in Taken 2, but it’s still enjoyable. Istanbul is a beautiful city and the chases through the city streets and on top of the buildings are realistic and claustrophobic. Also included in Taken 2 is more humor and a couple nodding winks to the first movie. The film’s writer, Luc Besson, said that this would be the only sequel to the movie. I would be OK with that.
My wife enjoyed the movie as much as the first one. While Taken 2 is entertaining and worth your time a third sequel might be overkill. UNLESS, they have it take place in Los Angeles with the two remaining brothers who Mills didn’t kill in Taken 2.