FILM REVIEW: Guns and bullets galore as Neeson goes on the rampage in Taken 2

Liam Neeson in Taken 2
Liam Neeson in Taken 2
Have your say

Taken 2 (12A) (The Reel, Grantham)

Review by Graham Newton

Olivier Megaton’s film keeps up the bullet and body count in this explosive sequel.

Liam Neeson returns as ex-CIA man Brian Mills who is kidnapped with his wife in Instanbul by a gang of Albanians. One of these ruthless killers is the father of a man killed by Mills in the original 2008 movie when Mills’ daughter is kidnapped on a trip to Paris. The father seeks revenge and when Neeson’s character and his wife are taken, he engages the help of his daughter to help them escape.

So the plot is silly and enough to put off any self-respecting cinema-goer. But the fast-paced action is gripping and there is little let-up as Neeson, now almost reaching 60, is chased through Istanbul and constantly gets himself out of some impossible situations. Some scenes are almost laughable, but then this film isn’t to be taken seriously, but at face value. It is a rollicking 90 minute ride on the back of some well-handled action sequences and if this is your bag then it will it the mark.

The film follows a similar path to its predecessor as Neeson goes about escaping from his captors and then killing them off one by one. Megaton directed Colombiana and Transporter 3 so knows how to handle an action movie. Of course there are holes peppering the plot, but that doesn’t matter, and Neeson seems to struggle with the physical action scenes. Films of this nature need a good editor to work on them, but sometimes this can’t hide the fact that Neeson seems to be lumbering along in the chase scenes when he should be haring around like a 10-year-old. Neeson says he wants to make a comedy next. I hope he does.

The only disturbing aspect of the film is its 12A rating. The first film, with its scenes of torture and violence, was rated 15 and the makers even made a ‘harder’ version for the DVD market which took it up to an 18. The sequel is toned down but not enough for a 12A in my opinion. Put it this way, I am glad I didn’t take my 10-year-old to see it.

Let the action sweep you up and you will enjoy it. Taken 2 continues at The Reel.

Have you seen this film? Leave a comment, telling us what you think.