The surviving members of the Albanian gang who kidnapped Bryan Mills’ daughter swear revenge and hunt him down in Istanbul.
Despite its simplistic plot and generic nature, Taken was the epitome of the guilty pleasure mainly because of some taut, energetic direction and the highly charismatic performance by Liam Neeson. This lazy sequel is typical of a Hollywood cash-in in that it takes the formula of the first film and makes a sterile, cynical and imagination-free carbon copy that forgets to include everything that made the original film work. It’s a lot easier to excuse free range brutality when its victims are vile rapists and slave traders so when Neeson guns down a room full of unarmed middle-aged men who are just watching the football, sympathy is a little harder to come by. The action is just as frenetic but lacks the nail-biting momentum of the original – the car chase in particular resembles a psychotic WRC rally as Neeson barks orders at his quivering daughter who seems to suddenly develop the driving skills of Jason Bourne despite the fact that earlier in the film we are informed that she’s unable to even pass her test.
Although adequately executed, Taken 2 is just a morally dubious, soulless exercise in making a fast buck that soon reveals itself to be more tedious than exciting.