“Taken 2” captivates audience despite generic plot

Apparently the bad guys didn’t learn the last time not to mess with Bryan Mills. The retired CIA agent returns in “Taken 2” and must once again rescue his family from a group of Albanian villains. Luckily for his wife and daughter, as well as for fans of the first film, Mills is as ruthless as ever in his quest of doing anything it takes to save his kin. The result is yet another adrenaline-fueled, action-packed thriller.

The movie’s plot is straightforward. Murad Hoxha, the father of the primary antagonist from the original “Taken,” wants vengeance for his son’s death. His plan – kidnap the Mills family while they vacation in Turkey, force Bryan to watch his loved ones be murdered and then kill Bryan himself. But Mills is not going to be put down without a fight, and with his daughter (who manages to avoid capture) and CIA experience at his advantage, he must find a way to defeat the bad guys and keep his family alive.

This is an out-and-out action movie, so if you’re looking for a realistic, intricate story with complex characters then “Taken 2” is not for you. But the film does succeed very well as a thriller. From nearly beginning to end there is non-stop excitement and suspense as Mills overcomes the extreme odds against him. At the same time the movie has a heart – the story operates on the basis of familial love, which makes the audience connect to the characters and actually care about what happens to them. Though the plot is basic and the villains are fairly generic, the movie is so engaging it overcomes those detriments.

Liam Neeson really carries the film, back in the role that rejuvenated his career four years ago. Neeson is by no means the typical action star, as he portrays Mills as both deeply cerebral and physically lethal. He does not play the character as a testosterone-charged killer, but as a nice guy who happens to know a lot about hurting the people who threaten his family. Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace are also both excellent as Mills’s wife and daughter, respectively. Grace is particularly good as a typical teenage girl who must once again adapt to a violent adult world so she can help her father.

“Taken 2” is sure to satisfy action fans – at least, until the third installment comes out.

The Setonian gave this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Sean Quinn can be reached at sean.quinn@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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