Taken 2

Reviewed by Lamar Kukuk

For all the sentimental fondness old school vengeful shoot-em-ups have inspired in the wake of the popular Expendables franchise, the fact remains that the “you did X, now I’m going to kill you all” movie is notoriously hard to pull off.  One reason is that revenge for revenge’s sake is hard to become emotionally connected to:  killing the guy who killed your wife doesn’t bring her back.  But plowing your way through dozens of faceless goons to SAVE the people you love… now that’s a more winning, and oddly less used, formula.  And it’s hard to think of a recent action flick that did it better than the 2009 sleeper hit Taken.  Much has been written about how well Liam Neeson played its hero, but less about how skillfully its plot leans on a successfully-mounted fantasy scenario of a man’s man who struggles to relate to his ex-wife and daughter called upon to save the later with his “particular set of skills”.  Taken 2 is all-in on both aspects of what made the original work, both allowing Neeson’s Bryan Mills to try and find a place for himself in his family’s lives and also to shoot, stab, bludgeon and generally finish off an army of vengeful goons looking to settle the score for the first movie’s carnage.  Maggie Grace makes the most of increased screen time as daughter Kim has no choice but to learn a few of those particular skills herself, and Neeson effortlessly steps back into his most iconic action role.  Taken 2 might lack the original’s smooth throughline and effortless urgency, but if you’re a fan, it should make you plenty happy that Mills family just can’t stop getting kidnapped.

Read the rest of Lamar’s review here: http://www.lamarsmoviepalace.com/taken2.html