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Kevin N. Laforest
A sloppy, lazy, unintentionally laughable sequel.
| Original Score: .5/5
A meta-American movie, a Godardian spoof of the whole genre, an attempt to see how stupid and insulting a motion picture can be and still be a big hit.
Taken 2 is more of the same, except a little bigger, a little dumber, and a little less invigorating.
| Original Score: 2/4
So lazily put together that it relies on flashbacks from its predecessor for the majority of its character development.
Neeson, despite having turned 60 in June, looks spritely enough in the role, and more than capable of another go-round should Taken 2 match its predecessor's success.
As much as this picture is action driven, its greatest delights are grounded in personality, in the fun of having a protagonist who combines homespun values with velociraptor functionality.
| Original Score: 3/4
Neeson is once again the stalwart center of this giddy, entirely improbable and improbably enjoyable escapade.
| Original Score: B
A sequel every bit as clumsy, ham-handed, outlandish and laughable as the original was sleek, tough and efficient.
| Original Score: 1/4
There doesn't seem to be a whole lot at stake in a movie where you can crash your way through the armed barricades at the American embassy with a stolen taxicab and survive without a scratch.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
The one thing that comes across is Neeson's character really likes fighting Albanians.
| Original Score: D
"Taken 2" is nearly all nonsense, with villains so inept and slow-moving that there's little satisfaction in watching Mills take them out.
Just a mediocre action franchise with a solid actor at the head and a travelogue in its heart.
The first thing to be kidnapped is logic, as the action moves to Istanbul from Paris and Liam Neeson ridiculously reprises his role of avenging ex-CIA dad Bryan Mills.
As they might say in the advertising department, it's an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. But it could have been much more.
[Neeson's] acting makes him seem human and even vulnerable, someone we can't help but worry over even though it's those feckless Albanians we should be nervous about.
| Original Score: 3/5
Seems like a nonstop car and foot chase, with Albanian after Albanian falling victim to Bryan's remarkable aim and hand-fighting skills.
| Original Score: 2/5
Rigorously formulaic and far-fetched ...
Taken 2 must not be taken 2 seriously, although at the very least Megaton could have found better ways to use all those glorious, antique-looking Istanbul backdrops.
Why an actor of Neeson's ability would play this character once, let alone twice, is a mystery for the ages.
If a viewer enjoyed the exotic locale and fast-paced action in the original film, here they get a different city and even more amped-up happenings, with a plot that intrigues enough to reel a viewer in.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
It's the same movie, second verse, but unfortunately with far less suspense this time around.
| Original Score: C-
Taken 2 is a rehash of the original. Fortunately, they're leftovers from a fine first course.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It's a stupid movie by smart people who aren't smart enough to realize it's stupid.
This film, lazy and mismanaged as it is, just feels like the only thing that's going to get taken unjustly is your money.
"Taken 2" is so much lousier than need be, and its action sequences look as if they were put together by someone who doesn't know what he's doing.
An arcade game provides pretty much the same "entertainment" and it's a lot easier on the wallet. And kinder, maybe, to your memories of Liam Neeson.
"Taken 2" is nothing more than a naked cash grab.
The cast is uniformly capable and dead serious, and if you're buying what Luc Besson is selling, he's not short-changing you.
Less a movie than it is a cinematic waterboarding.
Any breathing room from the hurtling narrative illogic only allows the audience opportunity to notice slips in Mills's father-knows-best infallibility.
A cynical, contemptuous film whose sole reason for existing appears to be to squeeze the pockets of anyone who enjoyed the first movie. Don't give it the satisfaction.
| Original Score: 1/5
Moviegoers who liked Taken and want more of the same will get precisely that.