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Is "Taken 2" as good as the first one?

[rating=6]

If there is one guy you don’t mess with, it’s Liam Neeson. He’s proven this point in the first “Taken” film which has forever changed the way we leave voicemails. “I will find you. And I will kill you.” Well, apparently the father of Marco, otherwise known as “‘Good luck’ guy” didn’t get that memo, being as he decided to hunt Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson, Unknown) in Taken 2. Not only does he plan on taking Bryan, but he plans on nabbing his ex-wife Lenore (Famke Janssen, X-Men: The Last Stand) and his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace, Taken). In order to save himself and his loved ones, Bryan must do what he does best: kill anything that has a gun and doesn’t speak his language!

This movie was seriously awesome. One concern among “Taken” fans, myself included, was that this movie would go down the same road that so many others have before it when an original movie makes more money than expected: The crappy sequel, or worse, the franchise that just won’t die (See Transformers for details). “Taken” was such a spectacular film that ruining it with an awful sequel should be punishable by death. Fortunately, this wasn’t necessary, because the sequel delivered just as much fast paced action as the original.

What makes this film so great is that it doesn’t try to be “Taken.” Although it is quite clear the writers tried to copy the trademark of the original film, the “I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you want…” (you all know the rest by heart. Don’t pretend you don’t) telephone call, everything else feels like “Taken 2” was its own movie. Of course it has similar elements, but “Taken 2” doesn’t stretch to achieve the greatness that its predecessor is. If you enjoyed the first film, you’ll love this one too.

“Taken 2” is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action (pure unadulterated Liam Neeson action: gunplay, fist fights, etc.) and some sensuality (a woman is shown in a bikini, and a man takes buttons off a woman’s shirt with a knife, but nothing is shown).

Ben Asper

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