Taken 2

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Taken 2 Movie Poster Image
Less violent, more sympathetic sequel delivers the thrills.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 91 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

Violence

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").

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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.

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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byXx Marley Xx November 1, 2016

Grizzely but not violent

I've seen a lot of Thrilers (trust me I have) but this by far the best constant shooting explosions knife fight one torture seen of a women getting her thr... Continue reading
Adult Written byShivom Oza October 10, 2012

Taken 2 Review by Shivom Oza – Takes Us In Yet Again

After daughter Kim gets kidnapped in ‘Taken’ (2009), it’s the parents’ turn. Ex-CIA operative Bryan Mills finds himself in the middle of yet anther kidnapping.... Continue reading
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... Continue reading
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,... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

For kids who love thrills

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