A great looking cast cannot save this action flick from resonating as one of the top “bombs” of the year; nonsensical, implausible, laughably ridiculous. Liam Nesson, ageing nicely, is again recreating the role of “Bryan Mills” an ex -CIA operative; “Taken” revolved around the kidnapping of his daughter “Kim” (Maggie Grace) by an Albanian sex trafficking cabal; titillating, spine-tingling scenario made this a fun, fascinating movie experience.
“Taken 2” had a difficult time deciding on who was to be “taken”; Mills? Ex-wife, “Lenore” (Famke Jansson)? Kim? Actually after twenty minutes, it hardly mattered. It is spring break and mother/daughter surprise Mills in Istanbul, Turkey; they are being stalked by the father and his fraternity killers, seeking revenge for the death of sons/brothers killed by Mills in “Taken”.
The film careens from the Houdini escapisms of Mills to the profound transformation of “Kim” from co-ed to trained demolition expert; ultimate credulity test was Kim, lacking a drivers license, racing with the temerity of Mario Andretti through the tumultuous streets and bazaars of Istanbul; if this was intended as irony, it flopped miserably.
In this tumbling cacophony and mayhem the one source of interest and credibility was the grieving, vindictive Albania father “Murad” (great depiction by Rabe Serdedzija); with a countenance terrifying the gods; his hatred, like a cloak of armor, defines his every gesture; the screen dulls with his absence.
“Taken 2” will keep you awake, leaving, knowing the Mills family will perpetually question choosing Istanbul for spring vacation.
1 & 1/2 STARS!!