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Taken 2 (DQ)


Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Sherbedgia, Leland Orser, D B Sweeney, Luke Grimes, Jon Gries

Director: Olivier Megaton

The first Taken was a thriller full of pulsating excitement, but this sequel really does stretch credibility too far, both in terms of dialogue and plot. The fathers of the white slavers killed by Neeson's security expert Bryan Mills in the first film are, led by Sherbedgia, out for revenge - by killing him, his wife (Janssen) and his daughter Kim (Grace).

When the family visits Istanbul, the bad guys pounce. But Kim, aiming at getting her divorced parents back together, isn't with them when the kidnap bid is set in motion. As the nasties close in, Bryan phones her: 'Your mother and I are going to be taken.'

Kim flees and is later contacted again by her imprisoned father, who has secreted a tiny phone in his shoe(!). 'Can you get out of the closet safely?' he asks. Quite apart from this being a daft question, she hasn't told him she was in one. No matter: it's Kim to the rescue. 'Take the gun and two grenades,' Bryan tells her. 'Kim, be casual.' Tough, when half the riffraff of Albania are pursuing her across the rooftops of a foreign city.

Never mind, the plucky girl locates her parents when Bryan instructs her to draw circles on a map until they intersect, and then check which way the wind is blowing. Please!

The chases and shoot-outs that follow offer routine excitements, but once Liam puts on his black leather jacket, you know that the baddies have had it. Even then, the fight scenes are too frenziedly edited for full enjoyment. It's not a great advert for Istanbul as a tourist attraction, either.

*Since the film was previewed, its violence has been toned down and/or foreshortened to enable it to receive a 12A certificate.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: 20th Century-Fox. Colour by deluxe.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Sep 2012