I am a fan of vengeance and rescue movies.  One of my favorites in this genre happens to be Taken staring Liam Neeson and written by Luc Besson.  I was overjoyed to hear that they would be doing a sequel but terrified that it would be horrible.  Taken 2 released over the weekend and I made the trek to my local cinema with friends to see Liam Neeson kicking much ass.  I was not disappointed.

I was very happy to see that the three main characters were all played by the original actors.  One of my worries with sequels is that they will not bring back all the original actors which made the first movie so good.  I’ve seen it happen before and it never really makes for a good return to the well.  I was delighted to see that Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace both return reprising their original roles.  Though neither of these actresses played a major role in the film, they provided a humanizing factor to Neeson’s character which made the movie better.  In Taken 2, both have much larger parts to play.

The movie picks up not long after the end of the first.  We are given a scene of the families of all the men that Mills had killed to recover his daughter.  There is a long line of graves with much weeping from those in attendance.  An older gentleman, looking a bit to much like the most interesting man in the world, swears vengeance for the loss of all these men.  The scene jumps back to Bryan Mills as he is continuing his journey to repair his relationship with his daughter.  As with any Father/Daughter  relationship, it is still strained.  Thankfully what has gone before is not ignored and we get a poignant scene where Kim describes to her father that she is desperately trying to return to normal.  Into this mix, we learn that Lenore’s current marriage is on the rocks and Bryan sees a possibility for repairing the damage done in the past.

Bryan makes the arrangements for Kim and Lenore to visit him in Istanbul when a job is finished completely unaware that he is being tracked by the gang that had captured his daughter originally.  The true action in the movie does not begin until all the players are in Istanbul.  Besson flips the script on us by having Kim be the only one not captured.  This does not mean that Neeson’s character is unprepared.  It just means that he now has to be badass by proxy at first.  What follows is a stretch of action that is both subdued yet over-the-top at the same time.

As I mentioned above, I am a fan of Taken and I really enjoyed Taken 2.  I can admit that their are some gaping plot holes throughout the movie.  They are just easily overlooked by me as I am wanting to watch Liam Neeson smite evil-doers with furious vengeance.  This is delivered in just the way I was hoping.  If you are not a big fan of Neeson’s, I would recommend waiting for this to hit Netflix.  If you are a fan though, it is well worth a matinee with a big bucket of popcorn and a barrel of diet soda.