Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Vacation, all they ever wanted

“Taken 2” is the inevitable sequel to the successful 2008 action-thriller starring Liam Neeson. The actor returns as former operative Bryan Mills, who relentlessly tracked down and rescued his missing teen daughter from a human trafficking ring in the first film.

The sequel brings Bryan, ex-wife Lenora (Famke Janssen) and daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to Istanbul, where vengeful forces connected to his previous mission stalk and pursue the trio. Trapped and abducted with his former spouse, Bryan manages to contact his daughter, who’s narrowly avoiding pursuers of her own.

Simply put, it’s “Die Hard” meets “24.” It’s basically about a well-trained, lone hero, pitted against almost impossible odds and fighting for the lives of his beleaguered loved ones. The sequel pretty much has the same dynamic, with Bryan Mills soldiering on despite his enemies’ numbers and the grave scenarios he finds himself in.

Because it’s a sequel, it’s easy to anticipate what happens next, and “Taken 2” does conform to a familiar formula. It also doesn’t make one worry for the main character; Neeson’s Bryan is unkillable and ever-efficient, like most of Willis’, Norris’, Sutherland’s, and a bunch of other action icons’ characters. Still, the close-quarter fisticuffs and chase scenes are sturdy, and the imperiled family’s shared agonies are harrowing.

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