Back when I saw the first Taken, I never imagined there would be a sequel. But I should have known better that Hollywood would make another. What comes to my surprise is that they did a sequel that is much NOT needed rather well. There are a few discrepancies here and there, but overall, Taken 2 does a good job in living up to the first one.
The story is simple, yet again- All the assholes Liam Neeson's character, Bryan, killed in the first film, had friends and family; friends an family who now want revenge for what he did. And they will stop at nothing to get even. Getting even includes capturing not only his daughter Kim, but Bryan, himself and his ex-wife, Lenny. Yet another plain plot, that for some reason works so damn well when you have the correct writing, and actors. Now, Neeson must escape, and reunite with his ex-wife and daughter again. What I enjoyed more about this plot was the character development it included. You got a good enough feel for all the characters in the first, but I think this one fills the mold that you already had started from the first. Especially with his ex-wife, Lenny. You kinda feel that they might still have a small candle burning for each other, and guess what! In this one, her new husband is being a dummy, so who is there to comfort her? Bryan! But of course, things go wrong, however conclude with a satisfying, yet incredibly predictable ending.
The acting of the film I'd say is just as good as the first, if not even better. In this one the bad guys really irritated me more. It's like they want to get revenge on a scum bag who captured girls for sex trafficking. These guys want to avenge that piece of shit? I don't care if he was family, it was still rather annoying. But that was a good thing, because I found myself rooting for Bryan even more so than in the first. Maggie Grace returns as Kim, and she gives yet another great performance. She is very believable, and seems like the perfect girl. I think we will see her in more and more movies, because her acting is never cheesy at all when doing a serious moment in the movie.
Sadly this sequel has a different director, and it shows. The writers are still the same; and this shows as well. However, what makes it obvious of the new director, are some of the fight scenes. Sadly, the hand to hand combat scenes are often poorly done you cannot tell what the hell is going on. The camera angle changes every two seconds, and all the camera angles are shaky anyways. This was very irritating, and also disappointing, because part of the greatness of the first film was the epic hand to hand combat.
Still, the movie has way more ups than downs. It has the same general feeling as the first, despite the disappointing new director. For sure see Taken 2, it lives up to the hopes of the first film.
Here's to Taken 3.