Written by / 10/25/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

TAKEN 2

year: 2012 cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace rating: ***
The first thing we learn in this TAKEN sequel is simple enough: a connected family member of those slain by Liam Neeson’s CIA operative Bryan Mills wants revenge. A no-brainer.

Then we flash to Mills in Los Angeles – he’s a man who’s been through the ringer and it shows. Displaying a compulsive disorder he has but one agenda... to keep an eye on his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), who’s got a new boyfriend. Cut ahead: His ex wife and daughter meet him in Turkey and soon enough the action begins.

This time Mills and his wife are kidnapped while Kim, holed up in the hotel while her father – via cell phone – provides tactical instructions: from throwing grenades out of windows to dodging assassins.

Soon father and daughter are reunited and a car chase occurs with her driving – Kim, who couldn’t pass the driving test back home, is suddenly a cross between BULLITT and Popeye Doyle of THE FRENCH CONNECTION… But what's reality compared to farfetched escapist fun? Bryan, with a steel-trapped brain that can memorize sounds and think his way out of any situation, makes for such an involving cerebral hero all the bloody fights seem beneath him.

And with so much action the time flies quickly: not a bad thing in an age of overlong, overcomplicated thrillers. The camera weaves in and out in dialog sequences but isn't too shaky during the brawls. While Neeson once again proves he’s got the chops of a younger cinema hero – but a third outing would be a big reach. 
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