Taken 2 Blu-ray Review

Fine, it’s one of those marvellous four letter words that covers up all manner of sins.

Like when you ask a girl if she’s ok and she says everything’s fine, well that’s pretty much a cast iron guarantee that everything is most definitely not fine.

And if you can’t work out what this is on your own initiative, you’d better batten down the hatches and get ready for the storm heading your way.

So when Liam Neeson’s still retired CIA agent Bryan Mills tells his daughter that her mother’s fine, you know she’s not.

If only because moments earlier we’ve seen the gravely injured care giver taken by some ne’er-do-well islamic thugs for a second time.

But that’s not where Taken 2 begins, oh no, for that we have to go back to the sunnier and far more patriotic shores of america.

It’s been a few years since our international street fighting man rescued his daughter Kim from the clutches of a vicious sex trafficking ring after being abducted in Paris, and much has changed.

For one, Kim’s old enough if not yet good enough to drive now; though Mills is lending a helping hand to daddy’s little girl by giving her some driving lessons when she’s not too busy making out with her new boyfriend, who looks suspiciously like he’s not from america.

Perhaps more importantly, his previously happily estranged wife Lenore is now less than happy with this estranged part seeing as her latest fancy man has sent her packing.

Being without a man for roughly 27 minutes is all the invitation Lenore needs to start flirting outrageously with her former husband and biting her lip at him when he drops by to see their daughter.

Quite how women came to the conclusion that biting your lower lip is sexy is anyone’s guess, but when you look like Famke Janssen you can get away with stuff like this.

Taking the hint, Mills comes up with a plan to put the boon back into his former belle’s life and invites Lenore as well as their daughter to come away with him to Istanbul.

It seems like just one thing stands in the way of this all american clan playing happy families again, and that’s the grieving families of all those foreign bastards our retired CIA agent dispatched with his lethal hands the last time he rescued Kim.

With something of a score to settle, these unashamedly islamic mafia men come up with a plan to get even with the man who robbed them of their loved ones.

And I’ll give you one guess for what that involves.

Taken 2 is a Liam Neeson shaped sequel to the unfathomably popular Taken, as we watch everyone’s favourite sixty year old action hero take on another slew of one-dimensional bad guys as he tries to protect another vulnerable white girl from some nasty, non-christian men.

Now I’d heard some pretty terrible reviews for Taken 2, so didn’t hold out much hope for the second instalment of Liam Neeson’s action franchise.

But I didn’t think it was all that bad.

Looking better than I ever will even though he’s pretty close to getting a free bus pass, Neeson manages to shoot, stab and punch his way through a whole host of islamic foes that is in no way a reflection of america’s current foreign policy while things blow up around him at regular intervals.

There’s also plenty of car chases thrown into the mix, Maggie Grace being stupid in a bikini as well as that guy who plays a tramp in Batman Begins only without that nice coat of his.

Now, if anyone was expecting anything other than this from Taken 2 I’d suggest they need to make an urgent appointment with their local neurologist.

The marvellously monikered Oliver Megaton’s film plays out exactly as you’d expect, so the only people who can have been disappointed by Taken 2 are those folks who consider the original Taken to be some sort of artistic high point for action films.

It wasn’t.

Still, if you’d prefer to carry on believing otherwise, that’s just fine.

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

February 2013