Taken 2 is the sequel to the 2008 powerhouse by the same name. It’s from the same writers (Besson and Kamen), but has another director, Olivier Megaton, who comes to this from Colombiana and Transporter 3. While I liked this almost as much as the original (probably because of Liam Neeson), the critics are still Luke warm about it and it was slightly less clear and compelling than the original. Why is that? I suspect the surprise and single-minded purpose of Taken got lost in Istanbul.
This story is about an ex-CIA agent (with really goofy CIA buddies) who flies into driving distance from Tropojia with all its bad guys and is then surprised that he and his family are targeted. His lightning-fast reflexes and anticipation belie allowing his vulnerable loved ones to join him in such a place. This time his estranged wife (Famke Janssen) moves into the spotlight while daughter (Maggie Grace) runs around and gets brave…. really?
Liam once again makes mincemeat out of the Albanian tough guys. They literally hardly lay a hand on him even though he does make reference to being too old for all this. It’s the overwhelming and focused way he works to save his family is what makes this franchise work…..but I see little hope for a threequel….who else can he save, the cat?
So this is like a relative value arbitrage that tightens up and moves on. Unless Lam expands his personal horizons and trades a new market, he may find himself giving back money at the box office.