Review: ‘Taken 2’ tries too hard

photo courtesy Twentieth Century FoxJonathan Garcia / Staff writer

“Taken 2” is the sequel to 2009’s “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, and Rade Sherbediga. The film is directed by Olivier Megaton, and written by the writers of the first movie – Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
The first movie was a fan favorite and propelled Liam Neeson to action star status. When the news that a sequel was in the works, people scratched their heads and wondered was it really necessary to make another movie.
Critics are slamming this movie, but it managed to perform well at the box office. It is good news to let everyone know that even though there are some flaws in this movie, it is still a fun movie you can catch at a matinee.
The film opens up with the family members that were killed by retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Neeson) while rescuing his daughter Kim (Grace), attending a burial in Albania. During the ceremony,
Murad Hoxa (Sherbediga), the father of the man who Mills electrocuted to death vows to find Mills and avenge the death of not only his son, but also all the other men he killed. Mills leaves to Istanbul on a business trip where Kim and his ex-wife Lenore (Janssen) surprise him and spend the trip with him.
The next day, the men capture Mills and Lenore while they’re out on a date, but they fail to capture Kim who Mills managed to tell to hide. While in captivity, Mills guides Kim to survive and avoid capture.
Later, Mills manages to escape but has to not only get Kim to safety, but to also rescue Lenore from Murad’s men.
Liam Neeson was once again great as Mills and it was great to see him in the role the second time around. The action scenes for the most part were good despite a video game-esque final fight sequence, and the acting was well done.
But the flaws that were in the movie were Sherbediga as the villain. All he did was make threats to Mills and Lenore, and never really got his hands dirty, he had some other men do it for him.
The film suffers from a weak villain, and a final fight scene that felt like something straight out of a video game.  Overall, despite those flaws, Taken 2 is still a fun movie to watch and is for sure worth a matinee.

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