I'm taken by Taken, and Taken 2 too. The first one plays on every father's paranoia about his daughter's safety in this dark and cruel world. Imagine having to reluctantly agree to your 16-year-old daughter's parentless trip to Paris, only to have her kidnapped by human traffickers immediately after landing. But what if you're an ex-CIA operative with "a very special set of skills"? What would you do? Use your spy connections and razor sharp instincts to find your daughter, and your combat experience to shoot and karate-chop the living crap out of everyone who's responsible, of course. It's every father's wish-fulfilment fantasy. It's also a thrill to watch an improbably efficient, resourceful and lethal ex-spy go to work.
Taken 2 actually spoils Taken 1 if you haven't seen the first, because the poster instantly tells you that the hero survived the first movie; either that or you thought the sequel was about his twin brother. Of course it isn't, but you have to wonder... what are they going to do with the sequel; kidnap his daughter again? So they go with this premise that I thought was pretty clever - remember those people he killed in Part 1? Apparently, human trafficking is a family biz, and their dads and brothers and sons are not too happy with their kin dying in the hands of some American fellow. I couldn't understand the heavy Albanian accent during the funeral scene, so I just imagined them saying "at last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi; at last we will have our revenge." It's our hero who gets taken this time, and his daughter does the rescuing. Great to see Liam Neeson rampaging against the backdrop of Istanbul.
Ludicrous but fun. Recommended.