"Taken 2" is so much lousier than need be, and its action sequences look as if they were put together by someone who doesn't know what he's doing. That's a problem. And not even the charismatically weather-beaten face and basso profundo action-star delivery of
Extending a work trip to vacation with his ex-wife (
One scene in particular works a kind of inadvertent magic, throwing the audience straight out of the picture. Mills, stuck in a basement in handcuffs, is on the phone with his daughter. Under extreme duress he relays a heinously complicated series of instructions involving map coordinates, and it goes on and on. And then he says: "Now, I want you to go to the balcony with the grenade. Is there a safe place you can throw the grenade."
By this time, even before the fearless Albanian killer's daughter starts lobbing grenades willy-nilly all over
While I didn't get much fun out of the first "Taken" (idiotically given a PG-13 rating, like the sequel), it did its job with some sadistic panache. This time the director is Olivier Megaton, lately of "Transporter 3," working in the house style of producer and co-writer
Revenge is a dish best served cold, as some Albanian dramatist once said, but "Taken 2" isn't good-cold, as in steely and purposeful; it's cold as in "lost the scent." After the solid satisfactions of the recent Neeson vehicles "Unknown" (Neeson versus his own memory loss) and "The Grey" (Neeson versus wolves), this hacky smackdown between Neeson and a third-rate director can't compete.
"Taken 2" Movie Trailer
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality).
Running time: 1:34.
Credits: Directed by Olivier Megaton; written by
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