In Home Viewings: Taken 2

Synopsis: Seeking revenge for the demise of his son (which transpired during the events of Taken), Serbian criminal Murad (Rade Serbedzija) enacts a plan to capture retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), his ex-wife (Famke Janssen), and his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). Just before being taken, Mills gives Kim directions on how to evade capture and she in turn provides outside support for Mills as he wreaks havoc on his would-be killers from the inside, culminating in a final confrontation with Murad in a Turkish bath house. What I Liked: Um…not much. Taken is an incredibly satisfying, enjoyable film that I can watch over and over again. It’s like a giant episode of 24 in the best way possible. Taken 2 has almost none of that appeal. Neeson is always a selling point for me and really he’s the only thing that keeps Taken 2 from being the worst movie of the year.

What I Didn’t Like: As an unabashed fan of Taken, I readily admit that it is, on its simplest level, incredibly dumb. There’s very little to the plot and it really is just Liam Neeson killing half of the Serbians in France with an array of neck chops and dirty tricks. AND THAT’S AWESOME because the key to everything within Taken is that it’s all very over the top and ridiculously fun. Taken 2 forgot the fun part and as such, you become keenly aware of how brutally stupid everything and everyone in this movie is. There’s also far too much screen time handed over to Maggie Grace who, bless her heart, is just not very talented as an actress. And if all that wasn’t enough, the very concept of the movie is foolish at best. It’s shocking (and sad) that nowhere in the process of this film receiving the green light did someone say, “Wait, so this guy killed LITERALLY every dude who crossed his path the last time around and now they’re going to try to force a SECOND confrontation with him? And the whole thing is based on a criminal being angry because someone killed his CRIMINAL son after his son kidnapped this person’s daughter and tried to sell her as a sex slave? That doesn’t work AT ALL, guys.”

The Verdict: This is the very definition of lazy filmmaking that I thought only the people behind the Twilight series were capable of. But hey, get ready for the sequel in 2014!

Taken 2 Director: Olivier Megatron Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Rade Serbedzija Rated: PG-13 (violence) Recommended For: Pre-adolescent males