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Liam Neeson races across Istanbul to save his family. Photo by Magali Bragard.

Taken 2

Available from Jan. 15 until May 31, 2013 on Rogers On Demand (Channel 100).

The original Taken was a surprisingly effective bone-cruncher, and the über-serious Liam Neeson proved a surprisingly adept action hero akin to Bruce Willis’s transition from Moonlighting to Die Hard.

Your enjoyment of Taken 2 likely depends on three not entirely mutually exclusive factors: how much you liked the original, your general appreciation of Neeson, and your ability to suspend disbelief in the face of preposterous narrative shortcuts.

Neeson is back as the overprotective dad with CIA training who will (again) stop at nothing to save his daughter from kidnappers (who just happen to be related to the kidnappers he killed in the first Taken). The twist, of course, is that it’s dear old dad who ends up needing rescuing, at least until Neeson can unleash his “particular set of skills” on the army of bad guys.

It’s junk food cinema – enjoyable at the time but you might not want to admit how much you really liked it.

Taken launched a new phase in 60-year-old Neeson’s career as a thinking man’s Charles Bronson, a position he solidified with last year’s existential man-vs-nature-vs-God arctic survival thriller The Grey (the one where Neeson punches a wolf and longs for his wife).

Liam Neeson was originally supposed to star in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (which comes to Rogers On Demand in March 2013,) but dropped out following the accidental death of his wife and was replaced by Daniel Day-Lewis.

Taken 2 was directed by Olivier Megaton but has the fingerprints of French über-producer Luc Besson (Nikita, The Professional, The Fifth Element, Transporter) all over it.

Highlight of Taken 2 – or lowlight, depending on your perspective – is a scene in which Neeson instructs his daughter on how to use a hand gun and some hand grenades as a makeshift GPS.


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One thought on “On Demand: Taken 2

Alluc, on said:

Have seen this article and I really enjoyed reading this. I also have seen the prequel to this and this one has become my favorite. Thanks for sharing this.

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