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Taken 2: Blu Ray Review

Taken 2: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Another outing for Liam Neeson's man with a special set of skills.

Having killed off the very bad people who kidnapped his daughter in the first Taken movie, Liam Neeson returns as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills.

Estranged from his wife Lenore (Famke Janssen), Mills is taking security work abroad in Istanbul when he offers his ex and daughter Kim a chance to join him for the weekend. But the vacation's about to take a turn for the worst when the father of one of people Mills killed the first time around seeks revenge.

Soon, Mills and Lenore are kidnapped - and only his daughter Kim holds the key initially to saving them.....

Taken 2 is a bit of a major disappointment to be honest.

Lacking any of the originality and surprise of the first film, it's a formulaic and heartless mash up of action sequences and fight scenes which lack any real tension or suspense, while going through the action film hoops (a car chase here, a fistfight there). Whereas the first film had a fresh and novel premise, this one feels forced and to be honest, in places, a little ludicrous. (Bryan's daughter Kim heads off over rooves at one point, hurling grenades willy-nilly so that Neeson can track the explosions - she doesn't get shot for her troubles, leading me to wonder what kind of air policing is in place in Istanbul.) Perhaps, the most insane moment is the moment that Mills is taken at gunpoint, but yet has the time to make a long protracted phone call to his daughter, explaining what's going on.

While Neeson has a reasonable time being a badass, he does in a rather dour manner and at the expense of any humour whatsoever - spending most of the time scowling and shooting. With his usual gruff, gravelly voice, he's clearly in action man mode but on auto-pilot as well. Janssen and Grace have little else to do except whimper and offer sidekick support here and there, leading to plenty of feeling that it's simply going through the motions. Even the head bad guy, who grumbles about having revenge at the start of the film, poses less and less of a threat as Bryan Mills does little to boost  Eastern relations by taking out everyone who has a hint of an accent and stubble with a carefully placed shot here and there.

The problem with Taken 2 is that it's relatively bloodless for the amount of people being shot to pieces, it lacks any kind of real originality or tension and is sorely missing the inventiveness of the first Taken movie.

Extras: Extended cut, deleted scenes, alternate ending

Rating: 4/10