–Taken 2 stars pretty much the same cast as 2008’s Taken, with Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser reprising their roles. New blood in the mix is Rade Serbedzija, the patriarch of a group of guys that Bryan (Neeson) killed while in pursuit of his kidnapped daughter in the first Taken movie.
It’s directed by Olivier Megaton and produced/written by Luc Besson.
As far as action films go, director Magaton (No, not Megatron) has experience with films like Colombiana and Transporter 3. Luc Besson returns as the producer writer for the sequel.
So there’s experience in action direction, and continuity in the character writing.
With that said, Taken 2 takes place some time after the first abduction attempt on Bryan’s daughter. But we open, watching a funeral for four of the thugs, with Murad Krasniqi (Sherbedgia) swearing revenge upon Bryan for these deaths of his family members.
Never mind that they were kidnappers of young girls.
We then get reintroduced to Bryan, Kim (Grace) and Lenore’s (Janssen) life. Kim is trying to pass her driving test and has a boyfriend. Lenore just split up with her hubby and dad, whom we learn is a bit OCD, is trying to play the role of cool, involved dad.
Dad has a job in Instabul, and Kim and Lenore meet him there. Which makes it easy for Murad to effect his plan of revenge by attempting to capture Bryan and his entire family.
And things go from there, as we tread on familiar territory in slightly different settings, as this time, Bryan is captured along with Lenore, and Kim is talked through the first few stages of helping Bryan escape.
Of course, you mess with Bryan, you are messing with your own fates! Even if he ends up facing off against someone equally skilled in the fighting arts as he is.
The choreography needs to get a bit tricky when it comes to action scenes with Neeson. He is getting older and doesn’t move as eloquently as he could, so some of the fight editing is a bit choppy.
But the closing fight scene, though edited to hide some stiff movements of our star, is a great closing scene that had me … well, you’ll see.
Bottom line… if you enjoyed Taken, you will not be disappointed by Taken 2 and is worthy of either a purchase or rental. Your choice!