Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Olivier Megaton|
|Produced by||Luc Besson|
|Written by||Luc Besson
Robert Mark Kamen
|Music by||Nathaniel Méchaly|
|Edited by||Camille Delamarre
|Distributed by||EuropaCorp Distribution
20th Century Fox
|Box office||$376.1 million|
Taken 2 is a 2012 French action thriller film directed by Olivier Megaton which stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, D.B. Sweeney, Luke Grimes, and Rade Šerbedžija. It is the sequel to the 2008 film Taken and was released on 3 October 2012.
Taken 2 received negative reviews. Despite this critical response, it was a major box office success, and earned more than its predecessor, grossing $376.1 million at the box office, against a budget of $45 million.
The film opens in Tropojë, Albania, at the funerals of the Albanian mobsters killed by Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) in the prior film. Murad (Rade Šerbedžija), the mob boss and father of Marko, whom Bryan killed by electrocution, vows to capture Bryan, bring him to the graves, and avenge their loved ones. Murad's men track down the corrupt French Intelligence officer from the first film, Jean-Claude Pitrel (Olivier Rabourdin), and torture him to learn Bryan's location. Afterwards, they bribe an official for the information.
Bryan's daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), and his ex-wife, Lenore (Famke Janssen), who is currently having marital problems, surprise Bryan by joining him in Istanbul, Turkey, where he has just finished a brief security job. The next day, Lenore and Bryan go out for lunch while Kim hangs out by the pool. Bryan realizes they are being followed; and, after a chase, the men capture Lenore. Before Bryan is forced to surrender, he calls Kim and warns her to get to safety and await further instructions. Kim runs to her father's hotel room and hides in the closet. Her would-be abductors shoot another hotel guest and two security guards, but they fail to find her and are forced to flee when the alarm is sounded.
Bryan wakes with his hands tied to a pole in the basement of an old house. Using a tiny phone that he had hidden in his sock, Bryan calls Kim, instructing her to go to the American Embassy and tell them what happened; but she begs to help him and her mother. Under Bryan's guidance, she opens his suitcase, containing weapons, and throws a grenade onto a deserted rooftop parking lot. By timing the sounds of the explosions, Bryan is able to triangulate his location.
The mobsters bring a struggling Lenore to the basement. One takes a knife and makes a small cut to her throat before hanging her upside down by chains. They tell Bryan he has to watch her bleed out and die before he dies. When the mobsters leave, Bryan is able to cut through his bindings and take Lenore down. He calls Kim to detonate two more grenades, enabling him to guide her to see steam he sends up a chimney to mark his precise location. Kim tosses a gun down the chimney, which Bryan uses to kill the mobsters in the building. He saves Kim from her rooftop pursuer; but Lenore is taken away by her captors. Bryan and Kim steal a taxi and follow the captors. Leaving Kim in the taxi, Bryan spots the gang taking Lenore to a van. He shoots at the van but fails to save her. He returns to the taxi, and they head to the Embassy with Kim driving. A chase and shootout with the police and Murad's henchmen ensues, ending when Kim and Bryan cross a railroad track; the henchmen are killed when their vehicle is hit by a train.
Leaving Kim at the U.S. Embassy, Bryan retraces the route to Murad's safe house he memorized during his abduction. After killing the rest of the mobsters and rescuing Lenore, he confronts Murad, who confirms Bryan's guess that his two remaining sons will seek revenge in turn if Bryan kills him. Bryan offers to let Murad live if he gives his word to end his vendetta. When Murad nods his head, Bryan drops his gun and starts to walk away. Murad seizes the gun and tries to shoot Bryan, only to discover that Bryan has removed the cartridge from the pistol's chamber. His actions proved his untrustworthiness and he is impaled on a towel hook by Bryan. Bryan then picks up Lenore and leaves.
Three weeks later, the Mills family is at a diner back in Los Angeles, having milkshakes to celebrate Kim's passing her driving test. They are joined, much to Bryan's surprise, by Kim's boyfriend Jamie (Luke Grimes). Kim jokingly asks her father not to shoot "this one."
- Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills
- Maggie Grace as Kim Mills
- Famke Janssen as Lenore "Lennie" Mills-St. John
- Rade Šerbedžija as Murad Hoxha
- Leland Orser as Sam Gilroy
- Jon Gries as Mark Casey
- D.B. Sweeney as Bernie Harris
- Luke Grimes as Jamie
- Olivier Rabourdin as Jean-Claude Pitrel
- Kevork Malikyan as Inspector Durmaz
- Luenell as Kim's driving instructor
- Alain Figlarz as Suko
- Luran Ahmeti as Hotel Thug #3
Filming took place throughout early 2012; Neeson and Grace shot their scenes in January in Los Angeles. The Istanbul scenes were shot in November 2011. Some scenes were filmed in the new film studios of the Cité du Cinéma founded by Luc Besson in Saint-Denis in France for 1 week.
Taken 2 was screened on 7 September 2012 at the 38th Deauville American Film Festival. It was theatrically released in more than 25 international markets, including North America, on 5 October 2012.
Taken 2 was released on DVD and Blu-ray, on 16 January 2013. The Blu-ray version was released with both the theatrical and unrated extended edition.
Taken 2 grossed $139,854,287 in North America and $236,287,019 in other territories, which brings the film's worldwide total to $376,141,306.
For its opening day in the North America, the film topped the box office and earned $18.4 million, $1.5 million of which came from midnight showings. In its opening weekend, Taken 2 grossed $49.5 million in North America, debuting in the No. 1 spot, setting a new record for the highest-ever October opening in North America of a film rated PG-13, and earned about $55 million in other markets. During its second weekend at the North American box office, the film dropped 55.8% from its first weekend and grossed $21.9 million while holding onto the No. 1 spot. The film grossed a total of $3,385,094 in the Philippines by its fifth week.
Taken 2 received negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 21%, based on 163 reviews, with an average rating of 4.2/10. The site's consensus reads: "Taken 2 is largely bereft of the kinetic thrills—and surprises—that made the original a hit." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the film 3 stars out of 4, writing, "Taken 2 is slick, professional action" and concluding, "The cast is uniformly capable and dead serious, and if you're buying what [co-writer and producer] Luc Besson is selling, he's not short-changing you." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, writing, "At a beefy 6-foot-4, Liam Neeson certainly looks physically imposing, but it was the notion of casting someone who can actually act in an action hero role that was the counter-intuitive concept that made both films—Taken 2 is more a remake than a sequel—so successful." Bernard Besserglik of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review after its screening at Deauville, concluding, "There's a touch of vigilante advocacy in the movie that will displease some, with Liam Neeson as a more gentlemanly version of the Charles Bronson of the Death Wish series, but clearly there's still a market for such fantasies. Moviegoers who liked Taken and want more of the same will get precisely that."
John Anderson of The Wall Street Journal gave the film a negative review, writing that there is a "blind adherence to formula evident in most of Taken 2. As they might say in the advertising department, it's an adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride. But it could have been much more." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C grade, writing, "You know what happens in Taken 2, don't you? The same thing that happened four years ago in Taken, but different. (But the same.)" and that Taken 2 "is simultaneously silly, nasty, a lazy festival of stereotypes, and a cleverly made piece of merchandise—i.e., it's the devil we know." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, writing that much of Taken 2 "seems like a nonstop car and foot chase, with Albanian after Albanian falling victim to Bryan's remarkable aim and hand-fighting skills. Foreigners bad, Americans good, box office busy."
Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club gave the film a C grade, writing, "What begins as a family outing, with a hint of rekindled romance between the parents, devolves into kidnapping (the word 'taken' gets thrown about liberally), torture, high-speed chases, and other misadventures probably not smiled upon by the Turkish Board of Tourism. None of it is particularly novel or exciting." Scott Bowles of USA Today gave the film 2 1/2 stars out of 4, writing, "The first half of Taken 2 is a serviceable action flick, but the second half descends into cliches" and "[a]t times, Taken 2 even steps from the shadows of the original with some terrifying imagery and an improved relationship between father and daughter. Alas, the movie can't help but descend into a pat part two, bereft of much suspense or tension." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 2 stars out of 5, concluding, "In the first movie, from the tailend of the Bush era, Liam was not shy about using Jack Bauerish torture techniques, wiring up evil-doers to the mains and zapping them with righteous volts. None of that now. That was a 15; this is a 12A, a bit tamer, just as ridiculous, but the premise is looking pretty tired."
Joe Neumaier of the Daily News also gave the film 2 stars out of 5, writing, "Taken 2 has a plot that could have been written by a GPS program, and contains all the technical charm that conjures up. Yet somehow, Liam Neeson growls through this just-acceptable action sequel with his dignity intact, his wallet bigger and his movie family oblivious to all that occurred in 2009's Taken." Neil Smith of Total Film also gave the film 2 stars out of 5, concluding, "'What are you going to do?' wails Maggie. 'What I do best!' growls Liam. Yet while it's fun to watch him take out the Eurotrash, we've seen him do it better." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post gave the film 1 stars out of 4, writing, "You can't blame Liam Neeson, or the Taken producers, for trying to catch lightning in a bottle again. What you can blame them for is Taken 2, a sequel every bit as clumsy, ham-handed, outlandish and laughable as the original was sleek, tough and efficient."
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