DVD review – Taken 2

Liam Neeson in action in Taken 2
Liam Neeson in action in Taken 2

We know that Liam Neeson has a particular set of skills after Taken, the excellent surprise hit of 2009 which took more than $100m.

He employs them again in the sequel Taken 2, or should that be Taken 2oo?

To be honest and very critical, we shouldn’t have seen those skills again, or at least not in the over-enhanced form that they are presented in.

I say very critical because I enjoyed the film but it could have been better and must surely be the last in the series – unless some other aggrieved relation takes it upon themselves to perhaps kidnap the lead character’s mother, best friend or even the family dog!

The premise is simple; Bryan Mills (Neeson) is joined by his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) and their daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) after a job he has recently finished in Istanbul.

Unbeknownst to the trio the family of his victims from the first movie have been tracking him and are ready to exact their revenge upon the man who took their loved ones from them.

They do so by pretty much doing as their predecessors did – but this time they take him too.

Part of the reason the first film was so good was the way in which it visualised Mills’ abilities at tracking and I don’t recall finding them a little hard to believe.

In this, though, it seems director Oliver Megaton (reminds me of a Transformer) inflates these skills and loses sight of the attraction of Neeson’s portrayal of Mills; a ferocious but sympathetic paternal image.

There was widespread criticism of the editing to gain the classification of a 15 certificate and whereas I didn’t think it was too bad, the enhanced tracking skills on display may have been done so to combat the slightly numbed choreography of the fight scenes.

If this was an original and not a sequel I would say that it was a good, honest action movie which is a fine way to spend an evening watching.

It isn’t, though, and the elements which made the first so good have not been built on, they have been taken for granted.

It is worth watching but that “special set of skills” that we admired so much don’t appear to be as special as they were.