Starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and Rade Serbedzija. Written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. Directed by Olivier Megaton. Produced by Luc Besson, Diloy Gulun and Michael Mandaville.
Not only is it unbelievable that the same dire situation would happen to someone twice within such a short span of time, but it's also a stretch to believe Liam Neeson is some sort of charming, smooth-operating secret agent. And moreso than the first installment, this fact is made apparent, particularly in an awkward scene where he's having a barbeque with his other agent friends and engages in what can only be described as "girl talk" and is teased about having feelings for his ex-wife. Neeson is an excellent actor and does his best to make this role serious, but is ultimately not fit for the role of Bryan Mills, the corny action hero.
On a family vacation to Instabul, he and his family are faced with a life-threatening situation that mimics the plot of the first Taken and he reacts with the same cool-headed approach, making phone calls and precisely taking the steps necessary to protect his daughter (Grace) and wife (Janssen) from the revenge-seeking father (Serbedzija) of the men he killed in Europe. This time, however, he takes a few more liberties, even instructing his daughter to run around and throw grenades all over the city and storming the American embassy at one point without facing any consequences. The entire movie is shot in real time and attempts to add suspense with him blundering all over the city to rescue his wife, who he's temporarily left behind to save his daughter, but ends up being boring and predictable.
An abundance of cheesy lines and scenarios and an overly simple portrayal of the bad guys is what completely ruins what could have been a decent action movie. As an audience, we are left with so many questions that are left unanswered about where this man's son fits into the picture or how their business operates or the real motivation behind it. Rather than focus on any of these areas, we're forced to focus on the present action, which goes exactly as expected. Not a single character in the movie is dynamic or grows in any way, making for a truly mundane and seemingly pointless movie experience. —Rebecca Hillary