If you loved Taken, you’ll like Taken 2, but probably not as much. Unfortunately, I didn’t really love Taken.
As soon as I heard about Taken 2, all I could think was how Hollywood are just trying to capitalise on the success of the first Taken film, but then after some thought I decided it kind of made sense. Liam Neeson’s character (Bryan Mills) had murdered eight criminals in France and no one had said anything? It only seemed right that he then would be hunted down, so in a round-a-bout kind of way, Taken 2 can be justified, right?
Anyway, after watching it I can confirm that it was just Hollywood have just milked the first Taken and should have quit whilst they were mildly successful. Taken 2 is merely a revised version of Taken, with a more promising start and a lazy finish. I think a problem with Taken 2 is that it’s certificate rating was a 12A, compared to a 15 in the first Taken. I understand that this is so it can reach a wider audience (and make more money), but it brings down the level of violence that can be shown on screen. In Taken, Liam Neeson ties a guy to a chair and electrocutes him, in Taken 2, I think someone gets a paper cut along the way. Okay, maybe not to that extent, but Taken 2 has a more tamer feel
Another problem I had with Taken 2 is that, in the first Taken, we’re already introduced to the lengths that our protagonist is willing to go to in order to protect his family (honestly, I’d just let them die). Having seen all that he can do and all that he is willing to do, Taken 2 falls into Superman trap and fails to create tension. The Superman trap is where a protagonist is built up to become so invincible and so unbeatable and in the end you’re sure nothing truly bad will happen, like Superman. This is the feeling that washed over me in Taken 2 and thus created a lack of tension. It doesn’t matter that Bryan gets fired at from point-blank range with a pistol, he’ll get out of it somehow, or that he is facing a room full of bad guys, he’ll beat them up somehow. I think the writers realised this and towards the end of the film Bryan struggled to defeat a low-level criminal after dispatching 10 of them 5 minutes ago.
Having said that, it’s a well made film, a clean film. Although I can never really believe Liam Neeson’s acting when he is happy, the acting was solid throughout. There were various parts of the film that were over the top however, it’s an action flim so it’s allowed to be a little cheesy ever now and again.
In conclusion, I thought Taken was okay, I tolerated Taken 2, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to like Taken 3 if it happens in the same way. Will there be a Taken 3? It’s a very high possibility, Taken 2 made a greater profit than Taken, so why not? The Taken franchise has Taken (get it) a very similar turn in the “Hangover” franchise as being repetitive and easily predictable.
I give this film a 5 out of 10 for it’s solid acting and lack of tension