Taken 2



Less violent, more sympathetic sequel delivers the thrills.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: October 3, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Compared to the first movie, Taken 2 has a more anti-revenge stance. The main character takes the law into his own hands, but he's also a supreme problem-solver, using his head and the resources at his disposal. During this process, he learns how to better communicate with and trust his daughter, and they work together well. Additionally, through patience and understanding, he re-connects with his ex-wife. Love of family is a powerful theme.
Positive role models

The main character is resourceful, tough, brave, kind, and a problem-solver. He resorts to violence, but mainly as a last resort. Though divorced, he tries his best to be involved in being a good role model for his daughter. She, likewise, demonstrates bravery and strength over the course of the movie, though she's not as cool and collected as her father.


Lots of shooting, fighting, chasing, and explosions, though much of the blood and death occurs off screen. The main character's ex-wife is kidnapped and tortured, though not extensively or gruesomely. (Potential spoiler alert: The bad guys cut a slit in her throat and hang her upside down so that she'll die slowly, but this gives the hero plenty of time to rescue her.) Other medium-level torture scenes (some in flashback); stabbing with scissors takes place off screen. One villain makes a vague threat of rape in regards to the daughter ("Your daughter will be abused by so many men, she will be like a piece of meat").


Kim is shown making out with her boyfriend on a couch. He fumbles with the buttons of her dress, but they're interrupted. She's later shown wearing a bikini. (The actress playing Kim is 29, but it's suggested that the character could be as young as 17 or 18.) Otherwise, an ex-husband and wife appear to be considering getting back together. The ex-wife kisses the husband in one scene.


Infrequent language includes a few uses of of "s--t," plus "bastard," "goddamn," and a couple of uses of "oh my God."


Many Mercedes-Benz vehicles are seen, particularly in a key chase scene.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The main character and his ex-wife share a glass of wine in one scene. The bad guys drink and smoke.

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).

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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 5, 2012
DVD release date:January 15, 2013
Cast:Famke Janssen, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace
Director:Olivier Megaton
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old October 6, 2012

Taken 2 is awsome

An awsome action packed film which is even better than the first film. It's not as voilent as the first film and the characters are more easier to like. Me and my mates were watching this after school so it was nice to relax. The movie has a interesting villan and liam nesson is a living legend!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byFILMCRITIC500 October 6, 2012

Taken sequel is more violent than the first, more brutal

this excellent sequel to the equaly awesome Taken is one of my favorite films of the year. and that means it had to have nonstop action, explosive fight scenes, and great acting. and Taken 2 delivers that in an hour and a half and brutal violence. people are beating with pipes and bare hands, have there necks snapped, and are even stabbed with scissors. one scene shows a women hanging upside down, while her blood exits through a cut in her throat. otherwise, there are explosions, gunfights, chases, and suspensul scenes. older teens who are into hard hitting action with enjoy this thriller
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovie loving teen October 7, 2012

A dissapointing sequel to a good movie.

This movie is slighlty more brutaly violent then the first one. But its only less then half as good as the first. It more about a family bonding in a more violent manner.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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