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October 2, 2017

Taken 2 (2012) --- "Daughter Uses New Set Of Skills To Rescue Mom And Dad From Kidnappers."

Plot Summary
Two years ago, retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) used his "particular set of skills" to rescue his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), from kidnappers. Since then, Kim has been learning self-defense from her father, and Bryan has been on a personal mission to reunite with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). In Istanbul, Bryan and his family cross paths with Murad (Rade Serbedzija), whose son died at Bryan's hand during Kim's rescue. Murad wants revenge, and he'll stop at nothing to get it. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Taken 2 (2012) was amazing. The first film was great and I was excited when I heard that there was going to be a sequel coming out.  Now, it’s quite common for any sequel film in a series to come off as being worse, sometimes a lot worse, than the first film. However, Taken 2 does not fall into that category, it’s not as good as the first film but it is very darn close. The amazing writers of the first film, Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) and Robert Mark Kamen (The Fifth Element), return for this follow up the sequel. This time we are set in Istanbul where the families of the men Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) killed for kidnapping his daughter are now back for revenge. And there will be no mercy. The tagline for the film is, “First they took his daughter, now they are coming for him.”
     Just like the first film, there is almost nothing about Taken 2 that I don’t like. Taken (2008) offered insight into a whole new world of an underground criminal empire that had yet be explored on the big screen. However, it is clear that in Taken 2 the writers would have a harder time in bringing back the same characters while still trying to tie into the events carried over from the first film. While it was done effectively, the original film’s idea that ‘this could happen to your daughter’ is not present in this film. Instead, Taken 2 is more of an action driven film that showcases the consequences of going against a criminal empire, despite your reasons being justified. Now the characters are in a world that they created or set up for themselves rather being thrust into it like the first film. I am perfectly fine with the direction that this film took but apparently, there were a good number of audience members that wished for a complete remake of the original. If that were the case it would be a reboot, not a sequel. The intelligent spy work was present, the action sequences were a sight to behold, and the cast fits their roles effectively. The only real issue that I have is the missing and unexplained storyline of the Lenora and Bryan supposedly getting back together. This story line was shown at the beginning but was never really explained or touched on after the first big scene. If this was explained a little more even at the end than it would have cleared up some confusion. Al, o some of the villains are unmemorable and even almost generic but this is case for most action thriller films.
     Overall, Taken 2 (2012) is an entertaining and action driven film. I admire that it carried over some of the same story ideas from the first film into the second film without making it a remake of the original. It’s not as good as the first film but it gets very close and can stand on its own. However, I do recommend that you see the first film before seeing this one otherwise the story-line won’t make sense.

"My turn." 
- Bryan Mills

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  3.5 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  3.5 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
The Bourne Series: Identity (2002)
The Bourne Series: Supremacy (2004)
The Bourne Series: Ultimatum (2007)
The Bourne Series: Jason Bourne (2016)
007: Casino Royale (2006)
007: Quantum of Solace (2008)
007: Skyfall (2012)
Gangster Squad (2013)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick 2 (2017)
Killers (2010)
Live by Night (2016)
Man From U.N.C.L.E. (@015)
Man on a Ledge (2012)
Mission Impossible  (1996)
Mission Impossible II (2000)
Mission Impossible III (2006)
Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
Taken (2008)
Taken 3 (2014)

Cast & Crew
 Directed by Olivier Megaton     
Writing Credits: Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Produced by 
     Luc Besson                  ...     producer
     Diloy Gülün                ...     line producer: Turkey
     Michael Mandaville   ...     line producer
Music by Nathaniel Méchaly      
Cinematography by Romain Lacourbas
Film Editing by Camille Delamarre and Vincent Tabaillon           
Production Design by Sébastien Inizan        
Set Decoration by Agnes Demaegot    
Costume Design by Pamela Lee Incardona   

Liam Neeson                  ...     Bryan Mills
Maggie Grace                 ...     Kim
Famke Janssen             ...     Lenore
Leland Orser                  ...     Sam
Jon Gries                         ...     Casey
D.B. Sweeney                 ...     Bernie
Luke Grimes                   ...     Jamie
Rade Serbedzija           ...     Murad Krasniqi
Kevork Malikyan          ...     Inspector Durmaz
Alain Figlarz                  ...     Suko
Ali Yildirim                    ...     Imam
Ergun Kuyucu               ...     Mirko 

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