Movie review: 'Taken 2' dialed down instead of up

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Sequels are supposed to be bigger, louder, punchier and overflowing with what made the original worth watching. But in "Taken 2," things are dialed down instead of up.

The dead-serious former CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) takes his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and daughter (Maggie Grace) to Istanbul for a respite from her current estranged husband. Instead, the trio is kidnapped by a vicious criminal who wants revenge because Mills killed his son in the first movie.

What unfurls over the next 90 minutes does so with little surprise. Insert fistfight here, torture scene there, then a standard chase, followed by the climactic duel between Mills and the villain.

The action feels standard, especially since director Olivier Megaton shoots the scenes with no visual flair and choreographs the fight scenes devoid of any energy and spunk. And casting scruffy actors with foreign accents to play the bad guys is the worst kind of Hollywood profiling.; —


'Taken 2'

Opens Friday, Oct. 5, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality; 91 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit