Less violent, more sympathetic sequel delivers the thrills.
Based on 15 reviews
Based on 27 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Taken 2 is the sequel to the 2009's hit thriller Taken, but it's less mean and vicious than the original, with more sympathetic characters and a more anti-revenge stance. Still, there are plenty of fights, chases, and shootouts, as well as torture scenes, though most of the really brutal stuff occurs off screen. A teen girl is shown making out with her boyfriend, with the boyfriend working at the buttons on her dress, but they're interrupted. Another kiss is shown, as well as the girl wearing a bikini. Language is very infrequent but includes about four uses of "s--t" (three of them during an intense chase scene).
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What's the Story?
The father (Rade Serbedzija) of the kidnapper from the original Taken wants revenge for the death of his son, so he plots to capture and kill Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) while he's in Istanbul on a business trip. Unfortunately, Bryan's daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), and ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) also turn up and become targets, too. This time Bryan and Lenore are taken, and Bryan employs Kim for a little outside help. Bryan escapes with Kim, but Lenore is moved to another location, and Bryan must use all his skills to find her again. Unfortunately, he's walking right into a trap. ...
Is It Any Good?
Whenever producer/story writer Luc Besson keeps his low-budget action movies simple, he tends to succeed. The original Taken was both vicious and highly ludicrous, with annoying characters. TAKEN 2 seems to have corrected all of that. The characters find themselves in a better place and are more sympathetic, and the movie seems to have more of an anti-revenge stance.
As directed by Besson regular Olivier Megaton, the suspense is more streamlined this time around, and mostly well-constructed; Megaton uses crafty cross-cutting between mundane and tense scenes to heighten the experience. Unfortunately, his handling of routine action, fight, and chase scenes is terrible. It's all a fast-cut, sludgy blur with no concept of who's holding the gun and where it's pointed. But overall, Taken 2 is a good, solid, "B" level entertainment.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Taken 2's violence. How much is shown, and how much is kept off screen? How does that affect its impact? Is the movie still thrilling?
Is revenge considered a wise and appropriate thing to do in this story, or is it frowned upon? How does that compare to the original movie?
Talk about the ethical and moral lines that characters cross in the movie. Are Bryan's actions justified?
- In theaters: October 5, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: January 15, 2013
- Cast: Famke Janssen, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace
- Director: Olivier Megaton
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 91 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Bourne Identity
Violent but thrilling first of the Bourne action trilogy.
High-octane action sustains thin plot in teen-friendly film.
Pure popcorn pleasure for older teens and up.
For kids who love thrills
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