‘Taken 2’ fails to impress, lacks previous dynamic

TEMP ORARY October 17, 2012 0

In life, firsts are very special. Everyone remembers their first time. I remember mine was late on a Saturday night in my dorm room after one of our infamous dances. I was intrigued. I had heard so many great things from other people, I was not sure what to expect. As it began I was not prepared for what I was going to witness. Watching “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, was a moment that I will never forget. For this reason, “Taken 2” never had the chance to live up to the expectations that “Taken” set in place.
The movie “Taken 2” builds on the plot that was created in the first movie. Retired CIA operative Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson, must use his particular set of skills that he acquired over his career to save his daughter Kim, played by Maggie Grace, who was kidnapped by human traffickers while on a trip to Paris. Throughout the movie, Mills single-handedly takes down the entire trafficking operation to rescue his daughter from peril. Needless to say, Neeson’s character was a candidate for Father of the Year after the release of this movie.
The sequel has the same core characters as the first, other than those killed by Mills. The movie opens with the funeral of those whom Neeson killed in the previous movie. We find out that the human trafficking ring was a family business. Those still alive sought revenge against Neeson for the slaughtering of their family members.
The plot thickens as Mills offers his ex-wife Lennie, played by Famke Janssen, and daughter the opportunity to travel to Istanbul with him—the same city where those seeking revenge are located. What are the chances?
If you have read the writing on the wall, you are most certainly correct. On the business trip, Neeson’s ex-wife is “taken” by those out for revenge in an effort to lure Neeson into the trap of trying to save his former lover. Neeson of course attempts to save the women for whom he still seems to have feelings.
The antagonists attempt to defeat Mills to no avail, as he is able to defeat the villains and rescue his ex-wife, with whom he seems to have rekindled the fire. Instead of upping the ante on the plot line of the film, many of the questions brought up throughout the movie are solved through chance rather than Mills’ sheer will.
Despite the high octane action scenes that are a part of “Taken 2,” the plot-line and character dynamics are less believable than those in “Taken.” The action scenes seem to be less thrilling as well. While the original movie left you on the edge of your seat, leaving a sense of mystery, the effort to create a new plot-line did not have the same effect.
This review is in no way saying that “Taken 2” is a bad film. For those who are action lovers and merely wish to see explosions and fight scenes throughout the film, this movie is for you. But for those of us who have seen the first movie and were anticipating a more in-depth film, it ultimately lacks in suspense and the desired plot its audience is looking for.

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