By Hannah Houser
Looking for guns, car chases, explosions and a mediocre storyline? Look no further than director Olivier Megaton’s newest film, Taken 2. Released Oct. 5, it stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen.
The movie follows Bryan Mills (Neeson), his daughter Kim (Grace) and his ex-wife Lenore (Janssen) to Istanbul. Bryan offers to let Kim and Lenore accompany him on a business trip, and they gladly accept his offer.
The father of the man who kidnapped Kim in the first Taken (who Bryan killed) is seeking to avenge his son’s death. His plan of action? Kill Bryan Mills, of course. Bryan and Lenore are taken hostage while they are in Istanbul, and Kim has to fill her father’s shoes and play the hero for a good part of the movie.
I really enjoyed the first Taken, so I had high hopes for Taken 2. As I anticipated, however, this movie failed to meet my expectations.
Taken was one of the few movies that gave me a good scare; it haunted me for weeks after I saw it. That was not the case for its sequel. Aside from feeling hungry, I left the theater completely unaffected. Taken 2 lacks the suspense and drama its predecessor created, as well as the haunting effect that follows after the credits roll.
Taken was a film that resonated with me for weeks. I know I will soon forget most of Taken 2. It proved to be another mediocre action/thriller flick that will fall through the cracks.
There is an attempt of recreating a love connection between Bryan and Lenore. In addition to trying to rescue her parents, Kim also tries her hand at playing cupid. The small love story could have been cut out altogether, or if they were going to try to throw some romance into the film, they could have made more of an effort to draw the viewer in.
The romance came across as an afterthought. True, this is a thriller movie, not a romance, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of including a love story, at least make it one that isn’t so dry and predictable.
Much like the first movie, Taken 2 continued to showcase two distinct sides of Bryan Mills; the world-traveling, gun-slinging, fast-thinking, fearless, intelligent, calm, cool and collected man who always has a plan of action, contrasted against the overprotective, sensitive, loving father who would bend over backwards for his little girl and who still has feelings for his ex-wife.
Overall, I give Taken 2 two out of five stars. It is a forgettable film that is anti-climactic and will live in the shadow of its predecessor. This is a movie to watch at the mall theater or on Netflix, but you certainly won’t be missing much if you don’t.