Much of the fun of 2008’s “Taken” was watching beloved thespian Liam Neeson go all Chuck Norris in a dirty little Euro trash thriller. It was unexpected, and it was fun. The sequel doesn’t have that gritty magic. It’s silly, talky, and with a director with the last name Megaton, we expected some heavy action, but it didn’t deliver.
A movie like this has to surprise us somehow. Last time out, it was seeing Neeson as an action hero as he got physical with hundreds of foes. This time they could have seized the opportunity to expand the daughter’s role and turn her into a super spy, but instead it’s simply more of the same, only less, if you catch our drift.
The post-Istanbul scenes (this is no spoiler, because you know how this movie ends before it starts) feel like outtakes from the Brady Bunch — Kim at her driving test; Kim brings her boyfriend to lunch. The only difference? Mr. Brady never had to shoot up half the planet to rescue Marcia, Jan or Cindy.
Picking up where 2008’s “Taken” left off, the sequel sees an Albanian mafia head (Rade Sherbedgia) vowing revenge against the man who killed his son, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). Set in Istanbul, where the Mills family — daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) who was kidnapped in Paris and almost sold into prostitution in the last film, and her mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) — is trying to enjoy a holiday. When Bryan and Lenore are taken by the mob, Kim must work to free them.
Director: Olivier Megaton
Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace