Some movies are able to better their material with a sequel, but most of the time they are unnecessary and are just a result of the studio’s greed; as is the case with ‘Taken 2’. I won’t deny that I was curious to see how this movie would turn out; I enjoyed the first one despite some of its obvious flaws, but in that one the action was on point and that helped carry it along and keep the audience entertained with an interesting storyline. This second part has an empty script, too much repetitiveness and too many flaws to consider it an upgrade from the previous one. In my opinion they should have just left the project alone instead of trying to make a couple of extra bucks with a second one.
In this part of the story retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is finishing up a job in Istanbul, where his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) come to join him. They don’t get to enjoy much of their time away from home when a gang of Albanians led by Murad (Rade Serbedzija) comes after them to avenge the deaths of all the men Mill killed when his daughter was kidnapped in Paris.
In our interview Neeson told me that being 60 he wanted to portray a man who is getting too old for all this havoc and it shows as some of the fight sequences seemed too programed and even when he’s running he barely seems like a threat. Although Grace has shown potential as an action star in ‘Lock-out’, here she reverts to the weak girl from the previous film; where although she’s able to do more to help the situation she still is completely lost in this world her father knows so well. There’s not much to say about Janssen’s character or her acting, as it is disappointing all around.
The biggest problem with this film is the storyline; it feels empty because it tries to base itself on the previous film and there’s just not enough material to do that. I did enjoy the humor this one had which lacked on the first one, even though at points it’s almost mocking itself as well as the first one. Although we finally see a break where the retired CIA agent is human and is exhausted, he’s still treated too much like a hero and the scenarios are no longer believable. The action becomes too repetitive to the point where it gets dull and you know there’s nothing more that the movie will provide to wake you up.
My biggest advice to the Mills family is…stay on American soil! There’s actually a hint to perhaps a third part to the franchise and I beg the studio to please leave it alone. We go to the movies to visit worlds where unbelievable things happen and even though a lot of the things here are farfetched it’s no longer new, innovative, or captivating. This has a different director from the first one; French director Olivier Megaton who recently did ‘Colombiana’ says he doesn’t consider himself an action director and took on this project despite of agreeing that there was no need for a sequel. He tried to make a movie that would stand on its own, but he certainly didn’t achieve it. For me it’s hard too see talent like the one the cast has specially Neeson be wasted in projects like this one. You would do yourself a favor by watching ‘Looper’ a second time before going to spend 91 minutes on this one.