Extending a work trip to vacation with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and daughter (
One scene in particular works a kind of inadvertent magic, throwing the audience straight out of the picture. Mills, stuck in a basement in handcuffs, is on the phone with his daughter. Under extreme duress he relays a heinously complicated series of instructions involving map coordinates, and it goes on and on. And then he says: "Now, I want you to go to the balcony with the grenade. Is there a safe place you can throw the grenade?"
By this time, even before the fearless Albanian killer's daughter starts lobbing grenades willy-nilly all over Istanbul — this is why they hate us! — the audience at a recent "Taken 2" preview got the giggles. And that was that: the sound of a crowd losing faith.
While I didn't get much fun out of the first "Taken" (idiotically given a
Revenge is a dish best served cold, as some Albanian dramatist once said, but "Taken 2" isn't good-cold, as in steely and purposeful; it's cold as in "lost the scent." After the solid satisfactions of the recent Neeson vehicles
'Taken 2' -- 1 star
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality)
Running time: 1:34