Taken, the enormously successful 2008 thriller in which a retired agent gets his kidnapped teenage daughter back, was an explosion of middle-age machismo. Seeing Liam Neeson dish out some skull-cracking, back-snapping payback to every young thug in Paris proved to be a rollicking good time.
Now theres Taken 2, which has the requisite abductions, speeding cars and Americans in danger on foreign soil, but the only ones truly taken for a ride are those in the audience. All thats missing in this blatant money grab is a final shot of Neeson on a spending spree with his large check.
Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the ex-CIA operative living in Los Angeles where he hovers over his daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace), even though he no longer lives with her or her mother, Lenore (Famke Janssen). But things seem to be reheating between Bryan and Lenore and he plans to spend more time with his family when he returns from a three-day freelance security assignment in Istanbul.
Before you can say bad idea, mother and daughter decide to surprise Bryan in Turkey. Little do they know that Albanian crime boss Murad is still ticked off that Bryan killed his son, who was one of Kims kidnappers. He vows revenge, unleashing a squad of tough guys to capture Bryan and his family.