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4.3 out of 5 stars68
4.3 out of 5 stars
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I knew nothing about Taken when it was released in 2008, but it proved to be one of the best action movies I had ever seen. There was just enough information about the characters to care about them, and the action was intense and rather elegant.

That shouldn't surprise me because Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen wrote the script. Besson had previously grabbed my attention with Léon: The Professional, which is one of the best action movies ever made. La Femme Nikita was another notable triumph. I mention all that to explain why I was already sold on the idea of Taken 2 as soon as it was announced.

So, did it meet my lofty expectations?

The opening scenes were something of a surprise with Bryan Mills (Neeson) interacting with his ex-wife, Lenore (Janssen), and daughter, Kim (Grace) extensively. I like that we are shown how Mills has grown closer to Lenore. In the original movie, she was cold and spiteful, but the two are clearly on better terms now that Mills has used his skills to rescue Kim from her kidnappers. It made perfect sense and rang true for me.

The plot is simple. If you remember Marko from the first movie, you'll probably know that he was part of an Albanian gang. In Taken 2, Marko's father is obsessed with avenging the death of his son. He's not interested in why Marko was killed, or that he was guilty of many crimes, he's only interested in seeing Mills killed. When Mills takes Lenore and Kim on vacation to Istanbul, Marko's father instructs his gang to capture Mills and his family. He partly succeeds, but Kim escapes.

The opening setup is quite long and thorough, and I remember thinking that more than half the audience were probably anxious to see Neeson get on with the task of eliminating the opposition in as many unique and violent ways as possible. However, once the action starts, it's relentless and intense. We see car chases, shootouts, fights, threats, brief torture, and a rapidly increasing body count.

Mills wants Kim to stay out of danger, but eventually enlists her help. I'm half expecting a sequel called 'Miss Taken.'

It's unrealistic to expect a movie of this nature to be completely plausible. After all, the basic premise is that a 60-year-old man is capable of defeating gangs armed with automatic weapons. The method Mills uses to escape his kidnappers is so simple that I have to wonder why he didn't do it about 30 minutes earlier, but I'll forgive that.

The ending was quite inventive, and paves the way for another sequel should Neeson and the cast want to reprise their roles a third time.

I did have a few minor complaints, such as the kidnappers talking in English when it's obvious that they would stick to Albanian. Another minor annoyance was the use of shaky cam shots throughout most of the intense action scenes. There's a fine line between adding excitement and losing track of the events on the screen. The line was crossed a few times.

Overall, I was happy with Taken 2. It delivered more of what I liked about the first movie and added depth to the relationships between the main characters. I don't think it's quite as good as Taken because we now know what Mills is capable of, and some of the pleasure of the first movie was seeing Mills demonstrate his unique set of skills for the first time.

Taken 2 definitely works better if you have seen the first installment. Some of the actions and dialogue are direct references to events from the first movie, and you will miss some of the humor if you aren't aware of past events.

Fans of Taken will be more than happy with this worthy sequel.

Two things to remember:

1) Never agree to go on vacation with Bryan Mills.
2) If Neeson uses your taxi cab, you probably won't see it in one piece again.
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on November 9, 2012
I loved this movie. Liam Neeson proves yet again he can be an amazing actor at almost any genre. I won't discuss what happens in the movie so I don't ruin it for anyone that hasn't seen it yet, but it is just like the first movie full of action.

If you havn't seen the first Taken movie I would strongly reccommend seeing it prior to watching this second one as the second movie continues on where the first one left off. But no matter what, if you enjoyed the first Taken movie you will be blown away with the second one.
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on June 7, 2015
Based on the screen appeal of Liam Neeson and the sex slave trade in Eastern Europe, we give you "Taken 2." In Eastern Europe the action takes place shorty after Bryan Mills (Liam) went "walking tall" all over them to save his daughter in the first feature. They are burying their dead and vow revenge. Yes, slave traders love their children too. In the US, the action takes place at some time in the future from the first film. Liam's ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) is now separated from her husband and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) with whom Bryan has built a solid relationship by rescuing her from slave traders, is slightly ungrateful as she would now rather spend time with her boyfriend Jamie (Luke Grimes) then let dad give her much needed driving lessons.

In order to make it easy on the script writers, Bryan and family travel to Istanbul. In spite of Liam's alertness, savvy, and being a lean mean fighting machine, his ex-wife is not and they are "taken" because "Kidnapped" has been used as too many film titles. Armed with a cell phone with a Turkish SIM card, a shoe lace, and some government issue grenades, Kim goes McGyver on them to save the family.

Definitely lacks the intensity of the first film.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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on March 25, 2013
Now Liam Neeson is a very versatile actor there is no question about that but it seems very strange
for a director to go with a very unusual concept such as this one does he know how many bad guys
have been killed by good guys i hope this don't start a trend.now i guess his sons is going to be
coming after him in taken 3.or maybe he's going to train his daughter how to kick the carp out of
the bad people and she can take over the role that is not finished as you can tell.now i have to say
watching the Black Ops unrated version on this blu-ray disc is the best version. i love the way they tell
you how much miles he's travelled and every thing that the Black Ops do to bring down the bad guys.
and every thing about the suite-case he was carrying it was so interesting to the map route that's always
on the screen.so there's three versions of this movie on the disc.i don't know if some people have found that out
as yet you have to go to the Extras and you will see Black Ops the unrated version press enter and it will play
the whole movie.Oh did say i love the movie Oh yes i did.
2.40:1. Aspect Ratio.
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Really all that is different is we've gone from "Quickly! There's no time!" (thank you Geoff Peterson) to "Listen to me! There's no time!" The Taken series is definitely a bonafide good thrill ride that'll get your heart beating. If you've seen #1 it's more of the same in #2. Setting the movie in Istanbul was genius as well.

The DVD extras are decent. Nice short FX Movies interview with Liam Neeson and an alternate ending that is worth watching just to see how they changed it. I actually think both work well. You can be the judge as I won't spoil it for anyone.
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on November 2, 2015
A good sequel to the taken movie where it picks up where it left off with the storyline. After killing Marco, Marco's father from Albania is out to get Bryan Mills to avenge his son's death. Don't want to give away too much of the plot, but they kidnap his ex-wife instead of his daughter. Lots of action and really enjoyable movie. If you like the Taken movie, you will love this one.
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on March 9, 2013
Its an action movie, so suspend your reality at the door. Sit back and enjoy the show and don't try to nit pick at the obvious over the top portions. The only disappointing part of the movie is Famke Janssen, she really gave the impression to me that she mailed in her performance. It may have been the directing, but either way it was not her best work.
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on January 19, 2013
It was an o.k. movie...Liam is a great actor as usual...His wife in the movie....what can I say. She went from being with another man and back to him in a heartbeat...but yet she had been so sad. For all the blood she had supposedly lost...well, me thinks she should have been pretty much dead...what the devil was up with that.
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on April 28, 2014
In this film, it is Neesom and his wife who are kidnapped, and his daughter must try and find and release them. When she finally releases Neesom, the action really heats up as he hunts down the people who have his wife. Again, some great fight scenes, with some cute comedy thrown in.
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on January 29, 2013
I absolutely loved this movie. It's genius ! I really enjoyed it.
They make you sit on the edge of your seat and make you think of what's going to happen next !
I also enjoyed the second one more than the first.
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