“Taken” was a surprise hit in 2009, but perhaps the biggest surprise was how strong an action hero Liam Neeson.
Five years later, the 60-year-old can still carry it off. While this second installment doesn’t quite hit the mark, “Taken 2” is still likely to satisfy the audience’s desire for an old-fashioned action movie.
Even so, it feels like a slower movie. As with all sequels, there’s some back story to explore and it manages to delay if not derail the pacing. It simply takes too long to get started.
Likewise, an attempt to share some spy secrets tends to go awry. The use of guns and grenades over the phone to determine Neeson’s location goes on too long.
And while the original focused solely on Neeson’s lone quest through Paris, the sequel includes both his daughter and wife. Having a partner in his daughter’s assistance manages to eliminate the feeling of isolation.
Even so, the Istanbul location provides an additional level of intrigue. And Neeson’s strong intelligence on film makes him an extremely watchable action hero and separates “Taken 2” from your run of the mill action movie.
- John Geddie gets tired just watching Liam Neeson.
Opening; “Sinister,” “Argo,” “Here Comes the Boom” and “Seven Psychopaths”