Taken 2

With sequels, people usually have the same common concern- will it be too much like the first movie? The viewer always has to consider whether they care about those characters enough to go see them again on screen. “Taken” left the viewers with a few questions. We see Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson), a retired CIA agent, blow up buildings, kill countless people, and steal multiple cars in Paris while trying to find his kidnapped daughter, Amanda. We never see the repercussions of his actions or how Amanda moves on after going through such a traumatic event. “Taken 2” resolves some of the unanswered questions.

The film begins a while after the first movie takes place. Amanda is all grown up—she’s practicing driving for her license test and, much to her father’s chagrin, she has a new boyfriend. The first few minutes of the movie focus on how she’s adjusting to normal life and what’s going on with her mother, Lenore. In the last film, we saw Lenore with her new wealthy husband, who was spoiling her and her daughter with lavish gifts and trips.

But now their marriage is on the rocks, leaving an opportunity for Bryan to swoop in and save the day. When Lenore’s husband cancels her trip, she and Amanda fly to visit Bryan in Istanbul, where he’s working as a bodyguard. Little does Bryan know that the families and friends of the people he murdered are plotting revenge.

His enemies wait for him in Istanbul and come after Bryan and his family. Luckily, Amanda escapes, and Bryan, being the always-prepared ex-CIA agent, has a spare cell phone with him when he gets kidnapped. This plot twist gives the viewer a unique opportunity to see the tough Bryan Mills forced to surrender to protect his family and be the hunted instead of the hunter. We also get to see Amanda kick some serious butt. The filmmakers cleverly avoided making the same movie twice.

“Taken” and its sequel were directed by two different people, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell unless you’re a film buff. Both films are completely action-packed, and neither last a minute longer than they should. There’s not a dull moment in “Taken 2.” It’s fairly short- it runs 91 minutes long. But filmmakers didn’t waste a second, and it ended right before that moment when it could have lost the viewer’s attention.

The only flaw in “Taken 2” can be seen during some of the fighting scenes. Neeson’s acting is great, but some of the choreographed fights make it very unclear how Bryan is killing some of his enemies. Not that they needed to show every death with graphic detail, but at points it looked like Bryan was just killing people simply by grabbing their faces. Other than those somewhat awkward moments, the sequel gives the story a fantastic and complete conclusion.