Neeson Saves the Day in Action Sequel
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 17:10
Kim, played by Maggie Grace, is an American girl who goes on a vacation to Paris with her best friend. Desiring to blend in immediately with the locals, they trust the first cute Parisian boy they meet. However, it turns out that he’s actually working with the Albanian mafia in a sex-trafficking ring. Unfortunately for the criminals, Kim’s father, Bryan (Liam Neeson), is a trained ex-CIA agent who would give Bruce Lee a run for his money in hand-to-hand combat. Bryan kills almost every one of the members of the gang and rescues his daughter from the hands of a Middle Eastern oil tycoon, who has a thing for young, virginal girls. The end.
Well, not quite. Taken 2 details what happens when you kill several members of the Albanian mafia and the kingpin decides to get revenge, or what he likes to call justice. Your life becomes a living nightmare while you’re on vacation with your family in Istanbul. A father must make the heart-wrenching decision of whether to save his daughter or his ex-wife, a woman he still loves. In Taken 2, Bryan has to pull off the same rescue, but this time it’s much more complicated. The Albanian mafia takes Bryan and his ex-wife, Lennie (Famke Janssen), and attempts to kidnap Kim. In this installment, Kim helps rescue her father and then works with him to rescue her mother. The Albanian mafia comes out in full force, prepared to dole out its retribution, but Bryan is always one step ahead.
Having produced action mega-hits such as Colombiana (2011) and Transporters 3 (2008), director Olivier Megaton brings to life an action-packed storyline with powerful themes such as justice, good and evil and love.
Megaton portrays killing as less of a question of right or wrong and more of a survival technique for both the members of the mafia and Bryan. This practical way of looking at death in the film mirrors the skewed definition of justice given by kingpin Murad Krasniqi (Rade Šerbedžija), the father of one of the men Bryan killed in Taken.
Murad says of justice, “If it gives us peace, call it what you want.” He and the Albanians are convinced that Bryan committed a grave injustice when he killed their sons, fathers and brothers; however, from Bryan’s point of view, anyone who kidnaps and sells girls into sexual slavery deserves to die.
Megaton does an amazing job creating a plotline that forces viewers to question their own definitions of justice. Most of us would define Murad’s quest as warranted vengeance; however, when the film begins with the backdrop of a funeral in a small, mountainous Albanian village honoring the men Bryan killed, you are reminded that even the bad guys are human and have loved ones. In essence, you develop sympathy for the people in the film whom you should outright hate.
Like any decent action film, good, as traditionally defined, always prevails. Throughout the majority of the film, Bryan, a man who will do anything to protect his family, symbolizes all that is good and right. The Albanians — people who will do anything to make a dollar — represent everything that is wrong with this world. But as the two men face one another in the most honest exchange possible, they are no longer simple representations of good and evil. Instead, they are two fathers, out to protect and stand up for their families. Each believes that justice is on his side.
Taken 2 remains true to its origins. In the beginning, this film looks like it will just be take two of Taken. But with some unexpected twists of plotline, the director brings us a film that is wholly different from the original in its major themes.