I held my breath throughout "Taken 2." Now that I know that Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) possesses a specific set of skills, the question remained: What does he plan to do with them now? Especially since his ex-wife (Famke Janssen), newly separated from her current husband, and daughter (Maggie Grace) have joined him for an impromptu vacation in Istanbul. It’s all a little outlandish - the location, the family reunification, and the likelihood of being taken. Again.
However, as the movie unfolds, it’s no less thrilling than the first one to see Bryan easily plan how to escape an inescapable situation. He employs the help of his daughter this time who has managed to stay out of the hands of strangers, but Grace plays the part too young. She is too flightly and deer-caught-in-headlights to make me feel that she would really be able to remember such precise detailing that her dad is giving her.
Then again, "Taken 2" already exceeds the level of believability and really is meant for the fans who appreciate the action, brains and just plain badass that Neeson portrays. At a run time that is just over an hour and a half, "Taken 2" is a rollercoaster. You know everyone will be safe at the end, but the anticipation during the ride is enough to take your breath away.
My movie-loving boyfriend had a great idea for a “Taken” plot - have the movie prequel to explain and demonstrate when Bryan actually learns his set of incredible skills. Movie titles? “Taken to Another Level”? “Taken Too Far”? “Taken By Surprise”? We’ll see if there’s a third. It definitely wouldn’t be necessary, but it would be appreciated.
Final rating: Liked it (but not more than the original)