Taken 2 – review

The tables are turned and this time Liam Neeson's daughter has to rescue him in this tired sequel

What a shame producer Luc Besson and director Olivier Megaton weren't around in the 1950s; they could have made Searchers 2, in which John Wayne gets kidnapped by the Indians and manages to send smoke-signals to tell Natalie Wood how to ride in and get him back. Anyway, Besson and the delicately named Megaton had a massive smash with their 2008 kidnap drama, Taken, starring Liam Neeson as the CIA guy whose daughter had been kidnapped by foreign baddies. He did look for them.

He did find them. And he did kill them. That legendary voicemail threat from Neeson turned him into an action hombre overnight. The inevitable sequel has put a weird twist on things. Now it's Liam who's got kidnapped (in Istanbul) and it's his daughter who has to save him!

He's chained up in a manky basement, and while his Turkish captors rashly leave him alone, all watching unAmerican football in the next room, Liam produces a tiny mobile phone hidden about his person, and whisperingly uses it to tell his girl to grab his guns and grenades and where to find him.

Neeson, that utter acting professional, doesn't give it any less than he gave Oskar Schindler. In the first movie, from the tailend of the Bush era, Liam was not shy about using Jack Bauerish torture techniques, wiring up evil-doers to the mains and zapping them with righteous volts. None of that now. That was a 15; this is a 12A, a bit tamer, just as ridiculous, but the premise is looking pretty tired.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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