By Mariela Limon |Staff Writer|
Liam Neeson is back to kicking butt and dominating the box office with the action-packed thriller “Taken 2.”
Directed by the appropriately named Olivier Megaton, “Taken 2″ is the sequel to the popular 2008 action film “Taken,” which was a surprise hit at the box office.
The first feature, “Taken” centered around Bryan Mills (Neeson) trying to rescue his daughter who was kidnapped while vacationing in Paris by a group of Albanian sex traffickers. Mills embarked on a thrilling killing spree in the attempt to save his daughter and was successful in the end.
In “Taken 2” family members of the human traffickers killed by Mills are out to seek revenge.
When the Albanians learn of Mills’ bodyguard job in Istanbul, they devise a plan to kidnap him.
Unbeknownst to them, Bryan’s daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and his ex-wife Leonor (Famke Janssen) meet up with Bryan for an impromptu family vacation, making things a little more complicated.
The action begins when Mills and Leonor are taken against their will. Their daughter, however, narrowly escapes.
Mills must repeatedly use all his CIA expertise to escape from the traffickers and guide his daughter to safety.
In this installment Mills isn’t the only hero, his daughter must also muscle up and help her parents in this time of need by outrunning the vengeful men.
Although the main draw of the movie is the action (And boy, does the movie deliver on the action), the audience also has an emotional connection to the story. We cannot help but to root for a happy ending for Mills and his family.
Car chases and fighting scenes are prominent throughout the movie and they give the action the audience expects from this movie.
Like any story it has its questionable moments. How does Mills get away with killing so many people and causing such destruction in the streets? But that is beside the point, “Taken 2″ has its ups and downs but it never veers off what made the first film a hit.
Delivering an action-packed and well acted performance, Liam Neeson carries this story on his shoulders and shows us that a good story can be projected in different ways.
All in all, “Taken 2″ thrills the audience and takes us on a bumpy ride through the streets of Istanbul.
Despite all of this, the movie has received mixed reviews from critics. It garnered a whopping 20% approval rating on Rottentomatoes.com. Despite lackluster reviews, “Taken 2″ has been favored by many regular moviegoers.
The movie made more than $49 million in its first weekend in the U.S. alone. To date the movie has made over $136 million worldwide, according to Boxofficemojo.com.
Eventually the audience loses themselves in the movie and simply take it for what it is: escapist entertainment.
I would recommend this film to everyone, even if you haven’t seen the first film. It is a guaranteed cinematic thrill ride.