I was probably one of a very few who wasn’t a fan of the surprise 2008 hit “Taken” (I thought it was a bit silly), so I have to admit the idea of a sequel didn’t really excite me.
Yet here we are with “Taken 2” (D), a film that manages to make the original look like a masterpiece in comparison. This is a wildly absurd piece of cinema – so completely over the top and preposterous that it does manage to induce a bit of unintentional humor.
Liam Neeson returns as former CIA operative Bryan Mills, who unknowingly finds himself the target of a group of European heavies seeking revenge for Mills killing members of their family who tried to kidnap his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace).
The plot comes to fruition when Mills, Kim and ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) all wind up vacationing together in Istanbul. This time however it’s Mills and Lenore who are kidnapped, with Kim the only person capable of helping them escape.
“Taken 2” starts in a hard to believe place, with a set up that is so contrived – and then proceeds to get more ridiculous from there. It’s so over-the-top it almost feels like it isn’t a sequel, but a parody of the original film.
There are way to moments were suspended disbelief is beyond possible. It’s crazy enough to think this family would be involved in a James Bond like kidnapping yet again, but Mills manages to pull off one of the most complicated escape plans in the history of cinema – pinpointing his exact location despite being blindfolded.
Then it gets even crazier with Kim transforming into Jason Bourne, managing to evade villains by jumping roof tops.
Speaking of the villains, this is one of the most inept groups in recent memory. I think the wolves from Neeson’s previous film “The Grey” would have been better nemesis.
Speaking of Neeson, he has settled into this action thing rather smoothly but he can’t save a film that is utterly ridiculous.
Even more head-scratching is that “Taken 2” made a killing in its opening weekend with nearly $40 million dollars. That all but assures a “Taken 3,” which would likely leave this franchise perilously close to jumping into “Jaws the Revenge” territory in terms of complete silliness.