Film review: ‘Taken 2’
Wed, Oct 3, 2012 (6:30 p.m.)
Even stranger than Liam Neeson’s new action-movie career is that Taken 2 is a superior sequel—leaner, smarter and more sympathetic than its 2009 predecessor. The father (Rade Serbedzija) of the kidnapper from the first movie wants to get revenge by kidnapping and killing secret agent Bryan Mills (Neeson) while he’s on a business trip in Istanbul. Unfortunately, Bryan’s daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and his not-so-estranged wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) are also along for the ride. Writer/producer Luc Besson and director Olivier Megaton cook up loony, inspired suspense, including the cell-phone rapport between the captured father and the escaped daughter, utilizing wind direction and grenades to determine locations. But while Megaton makes great use of the exotic locales and builds terrific tension through clever cutting, the fight sequences here are still sorely lacking; it’s a blurry sludge of shapes and colors, with no idea of who’s got the gun and where.